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Fukushima Cover Up

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by Robert Hunziker

It is literally impossible for the world community to get a clear understanding of, and truth about, the Fukushima nuclear disaster. This statement is based upon The Feature article in Columbia Journalism Review (“CJR”) d/d October 25, 2016 entitled: “Sinking a Bold Foray Into Watchdog Journalism in Japan” by Martin Fackler.

The scandalous subject matter of the article is frightening to its core. Essentially, it paints a picture of upending and abolishing a 3-year attempt by one of Japan’s oldest and most liberal/intellectual newspapers, The Asahi Shimbun (circ. 6.6 mln) in its effort of “watchdog journalism” of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. In the end, the newspaper’s special watchdog division suffered un-preannounced abrupt closure.

The CJR article, whether intentionally or not, is an indictment of right wing political control of media throughout the world. The story is, moreover, extraordinarily scary and of deepest concern because no sources can be counted on for accurate, truthful reporting of an incident as powerful and deadly dangerous as the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Lest anybody in class forgets, three nuclear reactors at Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant experienced 100% meltdown, aka The China Syndrome over five years ago.

The molten cores of those reactors melted down to a stage called corium, which is a lumpy hunk of irradiating radionuclides so deadly that robotic cameras are zapped! The radioactivity is powerful, deadly and possessed of frightening longevity, 100s of years. Again for those who missed class, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has no idea where those masses of sizzling hot radioactive goo are today. Did they burrow into the ground? Nobody knows, but it is known that those blobs of radioactivity are extraordinarily dangerous, as in deathly, erratically spewing radioactivity “who knows where”?

Fukushima is a national/worldwide emergency that is the worst kept secret ever because everybody knows it is happening; it is current; it is alive; it is deadly; it has killed (as explained in several prior articles) and will kill many more as well as maim countless people over many decades (a description of radiation’s gruesomeness follows later on in this article).

Yet, the Abe administration is talking to Olympic officials about conducting Olympic events, like baseball, in Fukushima for Tokyo 2020. Are they nuts, going off the deep end, gone mad, out of control? After all, TEPCO readily admits (1) the Fukushima cleanup will take decades to complete, if ever completed, and (2) nobody knows the whereabouts of the worlds most deadly radioactive blobs of sizzling hot masses of death and destruction, begging the question: Why is there a Chernobyl Exclusion Zone of 1,000 square miles after one nuclear meltdown 30 years ago, but yet Fukushima, with three meltdowns, each more severe than Chernobyl, is already being repopulated? It doesn’t compute!

The short answer is the Abe administration claims the radioactivity is being cleaned up. A much longer answer eschews the Abe administration by explaining the near impossibility of cleaning up radioactivity throughout the countryside. There are, after all, independent organizations with boots on the ground in Fukushima (documented in prior articles) that tell the truth, having measured dangerous levels of radiation throughout the region where clean up crews supposedly cleaned up.

The Columbia Journalism Review article, intentionally or not, paints a picture of “journalism by government decree” in Japan, which gainsays any kind of real journalism. It’s faux journalism, kinda like reading The Daily Disneyworld Journal & Times.

Based upon the CJR article: “The hastiness of the Asahi’s retreat raised fresh doubts about whether such watchdog journalism— an inherently risky enterprise that seeks to expose and debunk, and challenge the powerful—is even possible in Japan’s big national media, which are deeply tied to the nation’s political establishment.”

Japan’s journalists belong to “press clubs,” which are exclusively restricted to the big boys (and girls) from major media outlets, where stories are hand-fed according to government officialdom, period. It is the news, period! No questions asked, and this is how Asahi got into trouble. They set up a unit of 30-journalists to tell the truth about Fukushima and along the way won awards for journalism, until it suddenly, abruptly stopped. A big mystery ensues….

According to the CJR article, “The Investigative Reporting Section [Asahi] proved an instant success, winning Japan’s top journalism award two years in a row for its exposure of official cover-ups and shoddy decontamination work around the nuclear plant.”

Furthermore, according to the CJR article: “The abrupt about-face by the Asahi, a 137-year-old newspaper with 2,400 journalists that has been postwar Japan’s liberal media flagship, was an early victory for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which had sought to silence critical voices as it moved to roll back Japan’s postwar pacifism, and restart its nuclear industry.”

And, furthermore, the truth be told: “In Japanese journalism, scoops usually just mean learning from the ministry officials today what they intend to do tomorrow,’ says Makoto Watanabe, a former reporter in the section who quit the Asahi in March because he felt blocked from doing investigative reporting. ‘We came up with different scoops that were unwelcome in the Prime Minister’s Office.”

It comes as no surprise that Reporters Without Borders lowered Japan’s rating from 11th in 2010 (but one has to wonder how they ever got that high) to 72nd in this years annual ranking of global press freedoms, released on April 20, 2016.

Koichi Nakano, a professor of politics at Sophia University in Tokyo, says: “Emasculating the Asahi allowed Abe to impose a grim new conformity on the media world.”

When considering the awards Asahi won during its short foray into investigative journalism, like Japan’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for reporting about a gag-order on scientists after the Fukushima disaster and the government’s failure to release information about radiation to evacuating residents, now that Asahi has been forced to put a lid on “investigative journalism” and it must toe the line in “press clubs,” any and all information about the dangers or status of Fukushima are ipso facto suspect!

The world is dead silent on credible information about the world’s biggest disaster! (Which causes one to stop and think… really a lot.)

The evidence is abundantly clear that there is no trustworthy source of information about the world’s biggest nuclear disaster, and likely one of the biggest dangers to the planet in human history. However, time will tell as radiation exposure takes years to show up in the human body. It’s a silent killer but cumulates over time. Fukushima radiation goes on and on, but nobody knows what to do. To say the situation is scandalous is such a gross understatement that it is difficult to take it as seriously as it really should be taken. But, it is scandalous, not just in Japan but for the entire planet.

After all, consider this, 30 years after the fact, horribly deformed Chernobyl Children are found in over 300 asylums in the Belarus backwoods deep in the countryside. Equally as bad but maybe more odious, as of today, Chernobyl radiation (since 1986) is already affecting 2nd generation kids.

According to USA Today, Chernobyl’s Legacy: Kids With Bodies Ravaged by Disaster, April 17, 2016: “There are 2,397,863 people registered with Ukraine’s health ministry to receive ongoing Chernobyl-related health care. Of these, 453,391 are children — none born at the time of the accident. Their parents were children in 1986. These children have a range of illnesses: respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, eye diseases, blood diseases, cancer, congenital malformations, genetic abnormalities, trauma.”

It’s taken 30 years for the world, via an article in USA Today, to begin to understand how devastating, over decades, not over a few years, radiation exposure is to people. It is a silent killer that cumulates in the body over time and passes from generation to generation to generation, endless destruction that cannot be stopped!

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/31/fukushima-cover-up/

 

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: A Second Chernobyl?

By Arkadiusz Podniesiński

With an introduction by David McNeill

Waiting for the Future in Fukushima

As the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster approaches, the area around the hulking corpse of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant continues to exude a horrible fascination. Arkadiusz Podniesinski is one of thousands of photographers and journalists drawn there since the crisis began in March 2011. In 2015 his first photo report from the area attracted millions of views around the world.

Podniesinski brought to Japan his experience of chronicling the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear accident in Chernobyl, which he first visited in 2008. It was, he noted, people, not technology that was responsible for both disasters. Japanese politicians, he adds, are offended by comparisons with Chernobyl. Still, rarely for a foreign report on Fukushima, his work was picked up by Japanese television (on the liberal channel TBS), suggesting there is a hunger for this comparative perspective.

Podniesinski’s first trip strengthened his belief in the “catastrophic consequences of nuclear disasters.” Apart from the suffering caused by the disruption of so many lives (160,000 people remain homeless or displaced), there is the struggle to return contaminated cities and towns to a state where people can live in them again. Billions of dollars have already been spent on this cleanup and much more is to come: The latest rehabilitation plan by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. puts the total bill for compensation alone at 7.08 trillion yen, or nearly $60 billion.

Thirty years after Chernobyl’s reactor exploded, Ukrainians have long come to terms with the tragedy that befell them, he writes. The dead and injured have been forgotten. A 2-billion-Euro sarcophagus covering the damaged reactor is nearly complete. The media returns to the story only on major anniversaries. What, he wonders, will become of Fukushima? Last year, Naraha became the first town in Fukushima Prefecture to completely lift an evacuation order imposed after the triple meltdown. But despite rebuilding much of the town’s infrastructure and spending millions of dollars to reduce radiation, the local authorities have persuaded only a small number of people to permanently return there.

Radiation is only part of the problem, of course. “The evacuees worry about the lack of schools, hospitals and shops,” says Podniesinski. “About the public infrastructure, which has not been sufficiently rebuilt. It must be adapted to the needs of older people, who, after the departure of so many young people from the zone, will now be the majority. However, the evacuees are most afraid of loneliness, as few of their family members, friends and neighbors have decided to return.”

The sense of life suspended, of waiting for the future to arrive, resonates in Tomioka, once home to nearly 16,000 people, now a ghost town. Podniesinski arrives just as its famous cheery blossoms bloom, but there is nobody to see them. The irony of fate, he writes, means that this Japanese symbol of new, nascent life blooms in contaminated and lifeless streets. “Will the city and its residents be reborn? Undoubtedly, the last word shall belong to them alone.” DM

Fukushima: A Second Chernobyl?

Exactly a year has passed since my first visit to Fukushima. A visit which strengthened my belief of how catastrophic the consequences of nuclear disasters can be. A visit that also highlighted how great the human and financial efforts to return contaminated and destroyed cities to a state suitable for re-habitation can be.

The report on the Fukushima zone through the eyes of a person who knows and regularly visits Chernobyl received a great deal of interest in the international community. Viewed several million times and soon picked up by traditional media around the world, it became for a moment the most important topic on Fukushima. I was most pleased, however, by the news that the coverage also reached Japan, where it not only caused quite a stir (more on that another time) but also made me realise just how miniscule Japanese knowledge about the current situation in Fukushima is.

As a result, over the last year I started to go to Fukushima more often than to Chernobyl. This is hardly surprising for another reason. 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl disaster, so the majority of Ukrainians have long since come to terms with the tragedy. The dead and injured have been forgotten. The same is true for media interest, which is only revived on the occasion of the round, 30th anniversary of the disaster. In addition, after nearly 10 years and 2 billion euros, work on the new sarcophagus is finally coming to an end, and soon a storage site for radioactive waste and a 227-ha radiological biosphere reserve will be established.

Will the decommissioning of the power plant in Fukushima also take 30 years and end with the construction of a sarcophagus? Will the contaminated and deserted towns located around the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi power plant be called ghost towns and resemble Chernobyl’s Pripyat? Finally, will Fukushima become a popular place for dark tourism like Chernobyl and be visited by thousands of tourists every year?

I Never Want to Return Alone

The Japanese, particularly politicians and officials, do not like and are even offended by comparisons between Fukushima and Chernobyl. It is, however, difficult not to do so when analogies are visible everywhere. While the fact that the direct causes of the disasters are different, the result is almost identical. A tragedy for the hundreds of thousands of evacuated residents, hundreds of thousands of hectares of land contaminated, and decades of time and billions of dollars devoted to eliminating the results of the disaster. And the first cases of thyroid cancer.

The situation in Fukushima resembles a fight against time or a test of strength. The government has devoted billions of dollars to decontaminating the area and restoring residents to their homes. They must hurry before the residents completely lose hope or the desire to return. Before the houses collapse or people are too old to return to. In addition, the authorities soon intend to stop the compensation paid to residents, which according to many of them will be an even more effective “encouragement” for them to return. Deprived of financial support, many residents will have no other choice but to return. Many young families are not waiting for any government assistance. They decided long ago to leave in search of a new life free of radioactive isotopes. They will surely never return.

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Landfill bags with contaminated soil in Tomioka

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Decontamination of personal possessions

But radiation is not the only problem that the authorities must worry about. The evacuated residents worry about the lack of schools, hospitals and shops. About the public infrastructure, which has not been sufficiently rebuilt. It must be adapted to the needs of older people, who, after the departure of so many young people from the zone, will now be the majority. However, the evacuees are most afraid of loneliness, as few of their family members, friends and neighbours have decided to return.

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Deserted streets in the town of Okuma, closest to the destroyed power plant

Can the authorities manage to convince the residents to return? Has critical mass been exceeded, after which evacuees will learn from others and return? The authorities are doing everything they can to convince residents that the sites are safe for people. They open towns, roads and railway stations one after another. Unfortunately, despite this, residents still do not want to return. A recent survey confirms that there is a huge gap between the government’s current policies and the will of the affected residents. Only 17.8% want to return, 31.5% are unsure and 48% never intend to return.

It Became Chernobyl Here

During my first visit to Fukushima, I met Naoto Matsumura, who defied official bans and returned to the closed zone to take care of the animals abandoned there by farmers fleeing radiation. Matsumura has taken in hundreds of animals, saving them from inevitable death by starvation or at the hands of the merciless officials forcing farmers to agree to kill them. Thanks to his courage and sacrifice, Matsumura soon became known as the Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals.

Matsumura was not able to help all of the animals, however. According to the farmer, a third of them died of thirst, unable to break free of the metal beams in barns, wooden fences or ordinary kennels. Matsumura took me to one such place.

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Naoto Matsumura on an abandoned farm

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Not all appreciate Matsumura’s sacrifice and courage. Many people believe that helping these animals, which sooner or later would have ended up on a plate, is not worth the risk the farmer is exposing himself to. Matsumura always has the same answer for them – there is a fundamental difference between killing animals for food and killing animals who are no longer needed due to radiation.

Cow Terrorist

I also returned to Masami Yoshizawa, who like Naoto Matsumura decided to illegally return to the closed zone to take care of the abandoned animals. Shortly after the disaster, some of the farmer’s cows began to develop mysterious white spots on their skin. According to Yoshizawa, they are the result of radioactive contamination and the consumption of radioactive feed.

Yoshizawa’s farm is located 14 km from the destroyed power plant. From this distance, the buildings of the plant are not visible, but its chimneys can be seen. And, as Yoshizawa says – one could also see [and hear] explosions in the power plant as well as radioactive clouds that soon pass over his farm. Consequently, nearly half of the nearly 20,000 inhabitants of the town of Namie were evacuated to Tsushima, located high in the nearby mountains. But soon people began to flee from there when it turned out that the wind blowing in that direction contaminated the area even more. As a result of the radioactive contamination in Fukushima, a new generation known as the hibakusha has arisen. Up to now, this name was only given to people who were victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now this concept has also been applied to victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. As Yoshizawa says – of the 120 surveyed hibakusha, he ranks third in Namie in terms of the amount of radiation doses received.

Defying the completely ignorant authorities, Yoshizawa quickly became a professional activist and his cows got a new mission – they became protestors. And, soon after, he brought one of them in front of the Ministry of Agriculture’s building, demanding that research be undertaken to explain why white spots have appeared on the animals’ skins after the disaster. Yoshizawa says, “I protested [by] bringing a bit of Fukushima to Tokyo. May the cows and I become living proof of the disaster, and the farm a chronicle telling the story of the Fukushima disaster.”

When protesting against the construction and re-starting of subsequent nuclear power plants, Yoshizawa does not bring his cows along anymore. Instead, he has a car festooned with banners that pulls behind it a small trailer with a metal model of a cow. “I have a strong voice and can scream louder than die-hard right wingers!” explains Yoshizawa. “I’m a cowboy, a cow terrorist, a kamikaze!” he adds in a loud voice, presenting an example of his capabilities. “We are not advocating violence, we don’t kill people, we are not aggressive. We are political terrorists,” he concludes calmly. And after a moment, he invites us to a real protest. The occasion of the planned opening of the railway station is to be attended by Prime Minister Sinzo Abe himself.

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Yoshizawa on his Farm of Hope. The slogans on the auto read “Solidarity and ready to die” and “TEPCO, government: we demand compensation for our injustices!”

The protest goes peacefully indeed. Yoshizawa first drives round the city to which the Prime Minister is soon to arrive. Driving his car, he shouts into the microphone, “When a fire broke out in the reactors, TEPCO employees fled. The fire was extinguished by the young men of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces. Why were you not able to control the power plant you built?” He continued immediately, “Today the Prime Minister is coming here. Let’s get up and greet Abe. Let’s show Abe not only the beautifully prepared railway station, let him also see the dark side of the city. For 40 years, we supplied electricity to Tokyo. Our region only could support Japan’s economic development. And now we suffer. Tales about the safety of nuclear power plants are a thing of the past,” Yoshizawa concludes. When the moment of the Prime Minister’s arrival approaches and the crowds grow larger, policemen and the Prime Minister’s security detail approach the farmer. They order him to take down his banners and leave the site. Yoshizawa obeys, but carries out their commands without haste. As if deliberately trying to prolong their presence, hoping to have time to meet and “greet” the Prime Minister.

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Yoshizawa talks with the police

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Yoshizawa leaves the square under police escort, which wants to make sure that the farmer will leave the city

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaving the railway station

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No-go Zones

As always, a major part of my trip to Fukushima is devoted to visits to no-go zones. Obtaining permission to enter and photograph the interior is still difficult and very time-consuming. However, it is nothing compared to the search for owners of the abandoned properties, persuade them to come, show their houses and discuss the tragic past.

Sometimes, however, it’s different. Such as in the case of Tatsuo and Kazue Kogure, who with the help of Japanese television agreed to take me to Tomioka, where they ran a small but popular bar. It was not only a place to eat and drink sake, but also to sing karaoke with the bar’s owners.

Unfortunately the city, and with it the bar, stood in the way of the radioactive cloud and had to be closed. Earlier, I saw many similar bars and restaurants. Overgrown, smelly, full of mould, debris and scattered items. This place, however, is different. It is distinguished by its owners, who despite age and the tragedy they experienced, did not give up and opened a new bar outside the radioactive zone. Mr and Mrs Kogure not only showed me the abandoned bar, but also invited me to their new one.

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Kazue Kogure inside their abandoned bar in Tomioka

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Tatsuo and Kazue Kogure in their new bar in Iwaki

What is unusual and extremely gratifying is the fact that the couple’s efforts to continue the family business are also supported by regular customers from the previous bar. “It’s thanks to their help that we could start all over again,” Kazue Kogure acknowledges. She immediately adds, “By opening the bar again we also wanted to be an example to other evacuated residents. To show that it’s possible.”

The Scale of the Disaster Shocked Us

I also visit the former fire station located in the closed zone in Tomioka. Due to the nuclear power plant neighbouring the city, the firefighters working here were regularly trained in case of a variety of emergencies. I am accompanied by Naoto Suzuki, a firefighter who served here before the disaster. In the middle of the firehouse, my attention is drawn to a large blackboard. “That’s the task scheduler for March 2011,” the firefighter explains. “On 11 March, the day of the disaster, we had nothing planned, but,” he adds with an ironic smile, “the day before we had a training session on responding to radioactive contamination. We practised how to save irradiated people and how to use dosimeters and conduct decontamination.”

Unfortunately, the reality shocked even the firefighters, who had to cope with tasks they had never practised. For example, with cooling the reactors. Even the repeatedly practised evacuation procedures for the residents were often ineffective and resulted in the opposite of the desired effect. It turned out that the data from SPEEDI (System for Predicting Environmental Emergency Dose Information), whose tasks included forecasting the spread of radioactive substances, was useless and did not reach the local authorities. As a result, many residents were evacuated for more contaminated sites and unnecessarily endangered by the additional dose of radiation.

The monthly work schedule at the fire station in Tomioka (no-go zone). Firefighter Naoto Suzuki shows the training session on how to help people exposed to radiation planned for the day before the disaster. A committee meeting to provide information in the event of a fire in the nuclear reactors was planned for 14 March.

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Firefighters’ dispatch. Local firefighting tasks in Tomioka were managed from here.

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In the spring of this year, thanks to the help and support of many people, particularly the local authorities, evacuated residents and even a monk, I was also able to see many interesting places mostly located in the closed zones in Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba and Namie. Although five years have passed since the disaster, most of them still remain closed and many valuable objects can still be found there. Due to this, I have decided not to publish information that could aid in locating them.

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Overturned shelves of rental video shop

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Temple

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Izakaya Bar

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Restaurant

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Swimming pool complex

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Main pool

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Children’s bikes in the courtyard of the kindergarten

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Supermarket

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SEGA arcade

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Hospital

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Clothing factory

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Gym

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Pachinko arcade

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Kindergarten. The dosimeter reading here is 9.3 uSv/h.

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Children’s school bags

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School

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School library

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Nighttime police patrol

Hope

Ending my series of travels around Fukushima, I return to Tomioka to see the thing for which the city is most famous and its residents most proud – one of the longest and oldest cherry blossom tunnels in Japan. For the residents of Tomioka, cherry trees have always been something more than just a well-known tourist attraction or the historic symbol of the town. Not only did they admire the aesthetic attributes of the flowers, but they were also part of their lives, organised festivals, meetings and the topic of family conversations.

The natural beauty and powerful symbolism as well as their constant presence in Japanese arts have made cherry trees become an icon of Japanese cultural identity. They signal the arrival of spring, the time for renewal and the emergence of new life. In the spiritual sense, they remind us of how beautiful, yet tragically short and fragile, life is – just like the blooming cherry blossoms that fall from the tree after just a few days.

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Entrance gate to the closed zone in Tomioka

The nuclear irony of fate meant that this Japanese symbol of new, nascent life today blooms in the contaminated and lifeless streets of Tomioka. Will the city and its residents be reborn, along with the cherry trees blossoming in solitude and silence? Undoubtedly, the last word shall belong to them alone.

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Main street with flowering cherry trees

http://apjjf.org/2016/21/Podniesinski.html

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Secret documents reveal that British tax-payers will cop the costs of Hinkley’s nuclear wastes and any serious accident

The UK government accepts that, in setting a cap, the residual risk, of the very worst-case scenarios where actual cost might exceed the cap, is being borne by the government.”

Separate documents confirm that the cap also applies should the cost of decommissioning the reactor at the end of its life balloon.

Hinkley costsSecret government papers show taxpayers will pick up costs of Hinkley nuclear waste storagehttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/30/hinkley-point-nuclear-waste-storage-costs  Documents show steps Whitehall took to reassure French energy firm EDF and Chinese investors,Guardian, , 30 Oct 16, Taxpayers will pick up the bill should the cost of storing radioactive waste produced by Britain’s newest nuclear power station soar, according to confidential documents which the government has battled to keep secret for more than a year.

The papers confirm the steps the government took to reassure French energy firm EDF and Chinese investors behind the £24bn Hinkley Point C plant that the amount they would have to pay for the storage would be capped.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – in its previous incarnation as the Department for Energy and Climate Change – resisted repeated requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the release of the documents which were submitted to the European commission.

“The government has attempted to keep the costs to the taxpayer of Hinkley under wraps from the start,” said Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace chief scientist. “It’s hardly surprising as it doesn’t look good for the government’s claim that they are trying to keep costs down for hardworking families.”

But, earlier this month, on the very last day before government officials had to submit their defence against an appeal for disclosure of the information, the department released a “Nuclear Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology Notification Paper”. Marked “commercial in confidence”, it states that “unlimited exposure to risks relating to the costs of disposing of their waste in a GDF [geological disposal facility], could not be accepted by the operator as they would prevent the operator from securing the finance necessary to undertake the project”.

Instead the document explains that there will be a “cap on the liability of the operator of the nuclear power station which would apply in a worst-case scenario”. It adds: “The UK government accepts that, in setting a cap, the residual risk, of the very worst-case scenarios where actual cost might exceed the cap, is being borne by the government.”

Separate documents confirm that the cap also applies should the cost of decommissioning the reactor at the end of its life balloon. The level of the cap is unclear. But Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who made the FoI request, said it was clear that the risk of footing the bill for a significant cost overrun had been transferred from Hinkley’s operator to the taxpayer.

“This shows that the government cares more about the economic future of a foreign power generator than British taxpayers,” Lowry said.

In return for the cap, the document reveals that Hinkley’s operator will pay the government a risk fee which “is expected to be relatively low, reflecting the high level of confidence that the cap will not be breached”.

But Lowry pointed out that the nuclear industry had form when it came to sizable cost over-runs. He warned that an accident that could force the closure of the reactor, either because of problems with it or at another plant, as happened in Japan, would leave the taxpayer having to pay billions of pounds for the clear-up years after it ceased generating revenues.

A government spokesman said: “All operators of new nuclear power stations in the UK are legally obliged to meet the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs. They will also pay the UK government to dispose of the waste produced at the end of a plant’s life.”

October 31, 2016 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Top secret operation into North Korea to destroy Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons stash

exclamation-SmSpecial forces sneak into North Korea to DESTROY Kim’s nukes http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/557903/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-kim-jong-un-missiles-south-korea-special-ops-unites-states  By Rachel O’Donoghue  30th October 2016 A TOP secret operation has been completed that saw agents sneak into the secretive state of North Korea to destroy Kim Jong-un’s weapons stash.  United States and South Korean forces apparently staged the operation – dubbed Teak Knife – recently.

On Thursday (October 27) a US military spokesperson confirmed the exercise had been carried out in a rare public announcement.

They said: “Troops of South Korean Air Force’s combat control team, an infiltration commando unit, and the US Air Force’s 353rd Special Operations Group staged a joint exercise at Gunsan Air Base recently.”

Part of the operation saw military transport aircraft practising flying low – something that has been done since the 1990s to test infiltrating North Korea.

These aircraft are apparently used to transport special forces who are on a mission to destroy Kim Jong-un’s missiles and nuclear weapons.

According to a South Korean news network, the 353rd Special Operations Group, which is based at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, completes missions to send commandos into the closed country.

The military spokesperson added: “The latest Teak Knife exercise focused on infiltrating an inland area in the North to destroy key facilities.

“It’s different from a decapitation strike operation targeting the North Korean leadership.”

There have been calls in the US to launch pre-emptive strikes in North Korea following numerous incidents of despot leader Kim Jong-un testing his countries nuclear power.

Just this week officials confirmed he tested nuclear-capable missile which has the potential to reach the US military base in Guam.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

Leonardo Di Caprio’s new film “Before The Flood” debunks climate myths

Debunking climate myths with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before The Flood http://www.skepticalscience.com/debunking-climate-myths-with-Leonardo-DiCaprio-Before-The-Flood.html 29 October 2016 by John Cook

On Sunday October 30, 9 PM EST, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film Before The Flood will screen free online as well as on National Geographic. The film explores the causes and impacts of climate change, arguing for urgent action and a rapid transition off fossil fuels.

It will be streamed all week on Facebook, Youtube, Hulu, Playstation, and can be viewed on demand on Apple iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay. Here’s more details on how to see the film and here’s the trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9xFFyUOpXo

I was invited to contribute to Beforetheflood.com, debunking some of the most common myths about climate change. Here are my pages on Leonardo DiCaprio’s site:

We also embedded some key Denial101x videos in the debunkings, such as Consensus of Scientists and Daily & Yearly Cycle.

Beforetheflood.com is a rich website definitely worth exploring, with great info such as Brendan DeMelle’s The Climate Denial Industry. I’m looking forward to watching the film on Monday…

October 31, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Meltdown in China’s Nuclear Power Plans

The challenge for the Chinese nuclear industry is to do what no other nuclear industry worldwide has been able to do; to bring the cost of nuclear generation down to levels at which it can compete with other forms of generation, particularly renewables.

If it is unable to do this, China cannot afford to carry on ordering nuclear plants and nuclear will retain a small proportion of the electricity mix. This leaves China’s nuclear export drive in a precarious position.   If it is unable to do this, China cannot afford to carry on ordering nuclear plants.

China has had little export success so far

radiation-sign-sadflag-ChinaChina’s Nuclear Power Plans Melting Down http://thediplomat.com/2016/10/chinas-nuclear-power-plans-melting-down/ China may scale down plans for nuclear power because of slowing demand for electricity and construction setbacks. By Steve Thomas October 29, 2016   For China’s nuclear industry, 2016 has been a frustrating year. So far, construction has started on only one new plant, and its target of bringing 58 gigawatts of nuclear capacity in service by 2020 seems impossible to meet.

At present, China has 19.3 gigawatts of nuclear supply under construction and a further 31.4 gigawatts already in service. Given that new plants take five years or more to build, the country faces a shortfall of more than seven gigawatts on its target.

All the plants started between 2008 and 2010 are online except for six imported reactors. These include four AP1000 reactors designed by Westinghouse, based in the United States but owned by Toshiba of Japan, and two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs), developed by Areva, a French multinational group specializing in nuclear power.

The plants are not expected to be completed before 2017 and all will be at least three years late, an unprecedented delay in China’s nuclear history. It would be surprising if China was not disillusioned with its suppliers and their technologies.

Technology Problems

The EPR and AP1000 reactors have been problematic to build. The two EPRs are three to four years late although there is little available information detailing why. Meanwhile, EPR plants in Finland and France, which should have been completed in 2009 and 2012, respectively, will not be online before 2018.

There are no obvious problems that account for the majority of the delays at any of the sites, just a series of quality and planning issues that suggest the complexity of the design makes it difficult to build.

The four AP1000s are also running three to four years late. They are being built by China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC), which has not built reactors before. There is some publicly available information about the problems suffered in China with the AP1000s, including continual design changes by Westinghouse. The reactor coolant pumps and the squib valves, which are essential to prevent accidents, have been particularly problematic, for example.

Still, China is expected to be the first country to complete construction of AP1000 and EPR designs, a scenario it did not expect or want. The government is required to develop and demonstrate test procedures for bringing the plants into service, which could take up to a year. These test procedures are developed by vendors and generally standardized, although national safety regulators must approve them and can add specific requirements.

In 2014, a senior official at China’s nuclear safety regulator, the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), complained that only a small number of test procedures had been developed for the AP1000, and no acceptance criteria had been submitted for review. He said the same issues affect the EPR.

China will likely be reluctant to commit to further AP1000s (and the CAP1400, a Chinese design modified from the AP1000) until the first of the Westinghouse designs is in service, passes its acceptance tests, and demonstrates safe, reliable operation. There are no plans to build additional EPR reactors.

In fact, state-owned China General Nuclear (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) opted instead to develop medium-sized reactors (1000 megawatts), the ACP1000 and the ACPR1000, respectively, based on Areva’s much older M310 design rather than the EPR.

Challenging Circumstances  The slowdown in electricity demand growth at home has left China with surplus power-generating capacity. Nuclear is now competing against coal plants supplied with cheap fuel. Furthermore, nuclear has a lower priority for dispatch in winter than combined heat and power plants, which warm homes and factories and typically burn coal and gas.

In 2015, nuclear power accounted for only 3 percent of China’s electricity and at any plausible rate of building nuclear plants, it is unlikely that nuclear would achieve more than 10 percent of China’s electricity supply.

This year, one reactor (Hongyanhe 3) in Liaoning, operated for only 987 hours in the first quarter of 2016, just 45 percent of its availability, while reactors in Fujian (Fuqing) and Hainan (Changjiang) were shut down temporarily.

Another challenge is the strain placed on China’s nuclear regulators in the face of such an ambitious target. The NNSA is under particular pressure to oversee the operation of 36 plants and the construction of 20 plants, as well as being the first regulatory authority to review six new designs. Not even the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which monitored standards during the huge build-out of the industry in the 1960s and 1970s, has faced such a workload.

Safety authorities are usually reluctant to appear critical of their international peers but in 2014, a senior French safety regulator described NNSA as “overwhelmed,” and claimed that the storage of components was “not at an adequate level.” A senior official from SNPTC said in 2015: “Our fatal weakness is our management standards are not high enough.” To build up the capabilities to support such a large construction program, a pause in ordering new plants and equipment may be necessary.

Uncertain Future The target of having 58 GW nuclear capacity in service by 2020 is not achievable and, like nuclear capacity targets in the past in China and elsewhere, it will be quietly revised down. The challenge for the Chinese nuclear industry is to do what no other nuclear industry worldwide has been able to do; to bring the cost of nuclear generation down to levels at which it can compete with other forms of generation, particularly renewables.

If it is unable to do this, China cannot afford to carry on ordering nuclear plants and nuclear will retain a small proportion of the electricity mix. This leaves China’s nuclear export drive in a precarious position. Since 2013, China has turned its attention to nuclear export markets, offering apparently strong advantages over its competitors. The Chinese government can call on all the resources of China to offer a package of equipment, construction expertise, finance, and training that none of its rivals, even Russia, can match.

Unlike its competitors, it also has a huge amount of recent construction experience allowing it to supply cheap, good quality equipment. Its attempt to build reactors in the U.K. is an important element to this strategy; convincing an experienced user of nuclear power that a Chinese plant is worth investing in is a strong endorsement of their technology.

Despite these advantages, China has had little export success so far. In part, this is because there are fewer markets open to new nuclear. Such markets are typically found in developing countries where the financial risks are greater, and where governments have tried and failed to launch nuclear power programs themselves.

It seems clear there is a political element to the Chinese nuclear export strategy, which is to gain influence and leverage in the importing countries. However, if the world nuclear market does not pick up soon, the Chinese government may decide to put its formidable resources behind other technologies that would develop influence with less economic risk. If China’s nuclear home market is not flourishing, this decision will be much easier.

Steve Thomas is professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, in London.

This post was originally published by chinadialogue 

October 31, 2016 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

Toxic debates like the hinkley nuclear one need social science input

text-humanitiesby opening up this kind of wider discussion, social science can undertake its trickiest – but arguably most useful – task in any controversy. The stakes in this particular case transcend nuclear debates alone – and raise questions about the overall health of British democracy.

Hinkley C shows the value of social science in the most toxic public debates

Social science can help explain why people disagree over controversial technologies and – most importantly – surface hidden assumptions, Guardian,  and Phil Johnstone, 24 Oct 16,  t’s been another turbulent month in the long-running saga over the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Having looked as if she might be contemplating a rethink, Theresa May unveiled an apparently decisive approval just before the Conservative Party conference. But with longstanding issues still unaddressed– and new problems emerging even since the PM’s announcement – the debate over Hinkley is far from over…….

Social science can provide a better understanding of why different perspectives disagree – and help (when possible) to identify common ground. Hard-pressed policymakers often find it useful to understand how to foster trust, confidence and “acceptance” of their institutions and procedures.

For powerful interests in any setting, social research can also play a useful role in helping to justify, present or implement favoured policies. Here, social science can be part of the closing down of debate – helpfully enabling political attention to move on.

But what if, on deeper reflection, powerfully-backed policies are a bad idea (perhaps as with the Hinkley decision? History is replete with examples – like asbestos, heavy metals, carcinogenic pesticides, chlorine bleaches, toxic solvents and ozone depleting chemicals – where it only emerged in retrospect that the pictures being given of “sound science” or the “evidence base” at the time were unduly shaped by vested interests or constrained imaginations.

It is here that social science can play a further crucial role: helping to open up policy debates where they are being prematurely “locked-in”. This focuses less on society as a target for policymaking, and more on the processes of policymaking themselves. The production and interpretation of evidence is, after all, as much a social phenomenon as public attitudes or political mobilisation.

It is a striking feature of the Hinkley example that even the government’s own evidence base is strikingly damning. The assessment of value for money itself acknowledges Hinkley C to be more expensive than other low carbon energy strategies. And the picture in other official sources is even more negativeWith nuclear costs rising and renewable costs falling – and a worldwide turn towards wind and solar power – global trends compound the picture.

With the UK enjoying the best renewable energy resource in Europe and holding a competitive advantage in offshore industries, industrial policy arguments are also manifestly stronger for renewables. The same applies to prospective jobsCompared to nuclear safety and security challenges, renewables are less vulnerable. And simplistic “baseload” arguments are shown by numerous official reports to be superseded by technology – and repudiated even by the National Grid. So the officially-stated reasons for nuclear enthusiasm simply don’t stack up………

our research suggests there is a further – seriously neglected – factor that may underlie the intense attachment of successive UK governments to civil nuclear power. This involves parallel UK commitments to maintain nuclear submarine capabilities. Without the cover provided by lower-tier contracts in civil nuclear construction, the diminished UK nuclear manufacturing sector would simply not be able to build these formidable technological artefacts. Nor could they easily be operated without civil infrastructures for nuclear research, design, training, maintenance and regulation.

So a consequence of withdrawing from nuclear power might also be very serious for a particular version of British identity – especially in the coming post-Brexit era. It is nuclear military prowess that supposedly allows the UK to “punch above its weight” on the world stage. Yet, although this rationale for continued UK nuclear commitments is clearly documented on the military side, it is unmentioned anywhere in official civil nuclear policy statements – and in energy debates more widely.

What this might mean for policy is a moot point. But by opening up this kind of wider discussion, social science can undertake its trickiest – but arguably most useful – task in any controversy. The stakes in this particular case transcend nuclear debates alone – and raise questions about the overall health of British democracy.

Phil Johnstone is a research fellow and Andy Stirling is a professor of science and technology policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex. https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2016/oct/24/hinkley-c-shows-the-value-of-social-science-in-the-most-toxic-public-debates

October 31, 2016 Posted by | culture and arts, UK | Leave a comment

Cleaning up radiation contaminated groundwater at Hanford USA

water-radiationGroundwater 90 tons of contamination cleaner Tri City Herald BY ANNETTE CARY acary@tricityherald.com. 30 Oct 16 Hanford workers removed more than 90 tons of contaminants from groundwater beneath the nuclear reservation in the fiscal year that just ended, surpassing the amount removed the year before.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | USA, water | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear activists recall their first success, in California

text-NoFlag-USA Activists recount pioneering win over nuclear power on Sonoma Coast ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | October 29, 2016

The anti-nuclear activists standing in the rain Saturday morning at Bodega Head displayed some similarities to a pair of cyclists pedaling south a few miles away on Highway 1: Both parties were resolute, exposed and increasingly getting drenched.

The activists had come to Bodega Bay to remember two long-ago battles against nuclear power and to consider how their future struggles could affect global efforts to safely reduce greenhouse gases and limit climate change. One past struggle resulted in a striking victory, forcing the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in 1964 to halt plans for a proposed nuclear plant on the very spot the soggy activists stood: Bodega Head. That triumph has long been described as a major advancement for what became California’s environmental movement, a force that, among other things, passed a voter initiative to preserve the state’s coastline.

However, the second campaign failed in the early 1980s to stop the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near San Luis Obispo. That plant, which opened in 1985 and is now the sole operating nuclear facility in California, was slated this summer for closure by 2025, when its permits expire.

One aim for Saturday’s gathering was “for the Bodega generation to talk to the Diablo generation,” said Mark Evanoff, one of the event’s organizers……….

Looking forward to Diablo’s planned closure, two speakers Saturday told the audience that California must show the world it can shut down a nuclear plant without turning to coal, oil or natural gas to meet the state’s energy needs.

By doing so, “we really pierce a big hole in the argument” of those climate change advocates who suggest that perhaps nuclear power should remain part of the solution to ending reliance on fossil fuels, said Carl Ziechella, a senior policy advocate in Sacramento with the National Resources Defense Council……..

On Saturday, the veterans were reminded that the Bodega Head battle was begun mostly by county residents, who then were able to link up with key outside allies……..  http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6241381-181/activists-recount-pioneering-win-over?artslide=0

October 31, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Ontario’s nuclear power plan will be unaffordable

Nuclear power too costly  http://www.thesudburystar.com/2016/10/29/sudbury-letter-nuclear-power-too-costly

Many people in Ontario are struggling to pay their electricity bills.

You need to act now to protect us from further price increases.

Ontario Power Generation wants to raise the price for nuclear power to operate their nuclear power plant in Pickering and rebuild the one in Darlington.

It has applied for permission to increase the price for nuclear power by 180 per cent over the next decade. And I expect the price will go even higher – as I’m sure you know, no nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on time or on budget. This is unacceptable.

The people of Ontario simply cannot afford to pay for your plans to spend billions of tax dollars to rebuild outdated nuclear plants. Studies indicate that Ontario can save $600 million to $1.2 billion per year – or $12 billion to 24 billion over 20 years – by cancelling the rebuild of the Darlington plant.

We can cancel the Darlington rebuild and still keep Ontario powered up. There is a cleaner, more affordable alternative: we can get the power we need by importing Quebec’s excess clean water power.

To make this work, we would have to upgrade transmission lines at an estimated cost of only about $500 million. All told, Ontario would benefit from a return on investment in a just a few months. There are few deals in today’s world with such a short ROI.

Moving forward, the province would enjoy $600 million to $1.2 billion in annual savings. We could use this to fund energy efficiency programs that would help people save money by saving energy.

Premier, I know the nuclear lobby is powerful in Ontario. They spend millions on advertising alone. But I implore you to put the people of Ontario first.

In spite of their criticism, neither opposition party with seats at Queen’s Park has a plan to reduce electricity rate increases. Your government has an historic opportunity tomorrow to change the conversation on electricity rates in Ontario. The question is whether you have the courage to say no to the nuclear lobby and yes to lower cost water power from Quebec.

Premier, I ask you to put the people of Ontario first by signing a power deal with Quebec for low cost water power.

 

October 31, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear white elephant – sham review of Hinkley

Nuclear ‘sham’,  http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/14775229.READER_S_LETTER__Nuclear____sham___/ Tom Nellist , 30 Oct 16,  MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP, Green THE comprehensive review of Hinkley has been a total sham.

If Theresa May had seriously listened to a wide range of experts she would have concluded the project was economically illiterate, technically flawed, environmentally risky and a threat to security.

But it seems that in post-Brexit Britain the government has decided to turn its back on experts and try and demonstrate that the UK is open for business.

And so we see a government willing to hand over our energy infrastructure to the Chinese Communist Party and a giant French corporation. All this is the exact opposite of taking back control, which would come through a renewable energy revolution.

As Germany and other countries have shown, community-owned renewables can take power away from foreign corporations and governments and hand it back to the people, generating thousands of home grown jobs in the process.

The government says it will introduce greater scrutiny of future deals to protect national security but not for Hinkley C.

Why, if the current arrangements need to be changed, are they good enough for the people of the South West?

Effectively, the government is acknowledging we will all have to pay for a massive error in our approach to the ownership and control of critical infrastructure.

With Lib Dem Ed Davy instrumental in pushing the Hinkley deal as Secretary of State for Energy and Labour stuck in the nuclear bunker, supporting a discredited scheme to keep British unions happy, only the Green Party will continue to oppose this expensive and disastrous white elephant.

 

 

October 31, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Vermont’s request to review nuclear plant fund denied   

VERNON, Vt. (AP) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has largely rejected a complaint about how money is being spent from Vermont Yankee’s decommissioning trust fund.

The Brattleboro Reformer (http://bit.ly/2e1fi2D ) reports that Vermont state officials had sought a comprehensive review of how Entergy Vermont Yankee administrators are spending money from the fund, but the NRC last week dismissed the state’s challenge to federal trust fund supervision. The commission said federal regulations are designed to ensure plant owners don’t run out of money before decommissioning is complete, and that its ongoing oversight is sufficient.

The NRC did, however, order an environmental assessment of Entergy’s use of trust fund money for long-term management of spent nuclear fuel.

The nuclear plant shut down in December 2014. Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/

October 31, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Briefing note: DU exposure is a potential health risk for civilians

 International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons 30 Oct 16, 

A small number of states at First Committee 2016 have claimed that language in the draft resolution L.63, which relates to the potential health effects of DU weapons, means they are unable to vote in favour of the text. This briefing considers those potential risks and how they are interpreted by states and international organisations.
25 October 2016 – ICBUW

A small number of states at First Committee have claimed that language in the draft resolution L.63, which relates to the potential health effects of DU weapons, means they are unable to vote in favour of the text. This briefing considers those potential risks and how they are interpreted by states and international organisations……..http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/briefing-note-potential-health-risks-du

October 31, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India turning away from fossil fuels, to replace coal with Cheaper Solar Power by 2022

Renewable Energy: India to Replace Coal with Cheaper Solar Power by 2022 http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/30601/20161024/renewable-thinking-india-replace-coal-cheaper-solar-power-2022.htm by Monica Antonio Oct 24, 2016 India is taking the lead in creating a country powered by renewable energy by replacing expensive imported coal with affordable solar power in just six years’ time. But how will they do it? According to a report from Eco Business, India is aiming to alleviate poverty by providing the entire population with cheap electricity while, at the same time, not contributing to global warming by turning its back on fossil fuels and fully embracing solar energy.

An Alarming Dependency on Fossil Fuels 2016 BP Energy Outlook report showed alarming numbers on India’s energy consumption if it continues to depend on fossil fuels. The report says that by the year 2035, India’s gas import will increase by a staggering 573 percent, oil import by 169 percent and coal import by 85 percent.

The report says the key drivers in the rising demand for energy in the future are population growth and the doubling of GDP.

Turning Its Back on Fossil Fuels As a solution to the ballooning of energy consumption, India’s government has recently updated its National Solar Mission Target. By the year 2022, the country aims to achieve 175 GW of renewable power, including 100 GW of solar power. This means that India’s capacity for renewable energy needs to be seven times bigger, from 3 GW to 20 GW per year.

However, a big feat as it may seem, this new focus on renewable energy will benefit 600 million people with electricity by 2040. Ajay Goel, president of solar and chief of new businesses at ReNew Power said,”Especially for the 400 million Indians who have no access to electricity, solar power would mean access to clean and affordable energy.”

Is a Solar-Powered India Possible?

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, if India manages to create photovoltaic ground-mounted systems, the country will have an energy source that’s more affordable than imported coal. By using the levelised cost of energy (LCOE), the outlet notes that in the future, solar energy will be more economic than using coal.

Apart from giving access to cheap electricity, solar energy will also provide livelihood and “generate more than 675,000 jobs in the Indian solar industry,” Goel notes.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Renewable energy capacity overtakes coal – IAEA report

Renewable energy capacity overtakes coal 25 October 2016 The International Energy Agency says that the world’s capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal.

The IEA says in a new report that last year, renewables accounted for more than half of the increase in power capacity.

The report says half a million solar panels were installed every day last year around the world.

In China, it says, there were two wind turbines set up every hour.

Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydro are seen as a key element in international efforts to combat climate change.

At this stage, it is the capacity to generate power that has overtaken coal, rather than the amount of electricity actually produced.

Renewables are intermittent – they depend on the sun shining or the wind blowing, for example, unlike coal which can generate electricity 24 hours a day all year round.

So renewable technologies inevitably generate a lot less than their capacity.

Even so it is striking development.

The IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said “We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables”.

The expansion of renewable capacity reflects cost reductions for onshore wind and solar panels that the report describes as impressive; reductions that would have been “unthinkable just five years ago”.

The IEA expects the trend of declining costs to continue.

Those two technologies are likely to account for three quarters of future growth in renewables.

Hydropower will continue growing, the report says, but it is likely to do so more slowly than before.

Declining costs are also one reason the agency has increased its forecast for renewable capacity in the future…….http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37767250

October 31, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment