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In USA, Republicans are rejecting reality on climate change – Pew survey

Pew survey: Republicans are rejecting reality on climate change
Only 48% of Americans – and 15% of conservative Republicans – realize that humans are causing global warming,
Guardian, , 6 Oct 16, Climate scientists have 95% confidence that humans are the main cause of global warming over the past six decades. Their best estimate attributes 100% of global warming since 1950 to human activities90 to 100% of climate scientists and their research agree on this. Human-caused global warming is as settled as science gets.

Yet most Americans don’t realize it. Moreover, the more conservative a person’s ideology, the less likely they are to accept this scientific reality or to trust the scientific experts.

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, just 48% of Americans realize that the Earth is warming mostly due to human activity. Highlighting a vast partisan reality gap, 79% of liberal Democrats and just 15% of conservative Republicans answer the question correctly………

October 6, 2016 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

For Singapore, nuclear energy is not a viable option

Nuclear power not a viable option for now 6 Oct 16 Mr Lim Soon Heng has proposed the building of small modular nuclear reactors out at sea, given our limited size (“A floating nuclear power plant – off Singapore?”; Tuesday). However, the territorial sea under the jurisdiction of Singapore is also not very large, given the size of our country. Singapore has a claim of about three nautical miles of territorial sea. 

reactors-floatingBuilding floating small modular nuclear reactors out at sea is innovative. But it is unfortunate that Singapore will always be hampered by its size, resulting in it not having a vast maritime space within its jurisdiction to manage. There are also other considerations, such as underwater earthquakes posing a safety concern, as we are not that far from Indonesia’s earthquake fault lines. ……

October 6, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New Zealand moves ahead to ratify Paris climate agreement

NZ takes final step on historic climate change agreement, NZ Herald, 

New Zealand’s ambassador in New York, Gerard van Bohemen, was to take the formal step to ratify the agreement at the United Nations overnight.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett said it was earlier than anticipated but had been fast-tracked with support of Opposition parties.

That was done to beat the European Union and ensure New Zealand was one of the countries to ratify before the threshold at which the agreement will come into force.

To come into force, at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions have to ratify it.

Bennett said the European Union was initially not expected to ratify until next year, but had now moved to do so within the next week. The EU’s entry would push it over the 55 per cent of emissions required.

As a result New Zealand moved its own date forward from November when it had aimed to ratify in time for the next major climate change summit in Marrakesh.

“That means we are part of the first tranche. It is as much symbolic as anything else, to be part of that first tranche. But there have been noises that the ’55-club’ may be able to sit in different committees that are deciding accounting processes round forestry and international trading and that sort of thing.”

As of Tuesday night, 62 of the 191 countries to have signed the Paris Agreement had ratified, accounting for 51.89 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

They included major emitting countries such as China, the United States, India and Brazil……….

October 6, 2016 Posted by | climate change, New Zealand | Leave a comment

Sendai No 1 nuclear reactor shut down for safety work: this could drag on

Japan nuclear reactor shuttered for safety work, Channel News Asia  06 Oct 2016  TOKYO: A reactor at the centre of Japan’s national debate over nuclear power was halted on Thursday (Oct 6) under stricter post-Fukushima safety standards, as Tokyo struggles to bring back atomic energy.

Utility Kyushu Electric is shutting down the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai plant in southern Kagoshima for a few months of inspections and maintenance, leaving Japan with just two operating reactors.

But there is speculation that the reactor’s safety work could drag on longer.

Thursday’s shutdown follows demands from the region’s top politician that Kyushu Electric conduct extra safety inspections at its two operating reactors in the Sendai plant – after deadly quakes hammered a neighbouring prefecture in April.

Last month, the company refused governor Satoshi Mitazono’s demands to immediately shut down the reactors over safety concerns.

But it agreed to what it called “special inspections” in addition to regular maintenance work. Sendai’s No. 2 reactor will be shut down for a similar review starting in December………

Opposition to nuclear power has seen communities across the country file lawsuits to prevent restarts, including the Sendai plant.

The residents argued that the plant’s operator underestimated the scale of potential earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that could hit the region. A court rejected their argument and ordered restarts………

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

China’s huge top secret nuclear base now finally declassified

Top secret Chinese nuclear base opens to foreigners [good photos] , , 6 Oct 15 IT’S A maze built to manufacture plutonium and house thousands of tonnes of explosives.

The 826 Nuclear Military Plant, a former top-secret Chinese base, is almost 20km wide, with 178 caves and more than 130 roads and tunnels.

The largest man-made cave in the world was commissioned in the 1960s, when Beijing feared an imminent nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.

More than 60,000 engineering soldiers participated in the construction, and at least 100 of them were reportedly killed during the process.

It’s hidden deep in the mountains of Fuling, in the Chongqing municipality of central China, and can reportedly withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

The largest cave is nearly 80m high, or roughly the height of a 20-storey building, and the tunnels are wide enough to drive through……..The huge undertaking took 17 years to build, and was nearly completed when it was abruptly cancelled due to changes in Cold War politics in 1984.

 After lying dormant for many years, it was officially declassified in 2002.

It’s just undergone an extensive renovation, and is now open to foreign visitors for the first time…….

October 6, 2016 Posted by | China, history, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Both right wing and left wing attack New York’s nuclear subsidy

text-my-money-2Nuclear plan gets backlash from left, right, Daily Star, By Joe Mahoney CNHI State Reporter, 5 Oct 16  ALBANY — A coalition of environmental and consumer activists warned Wednesday that New York electricity customers will be jolted by a “huge tax” stemming from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to subsidize aging nuclear power plants.

Customers of National Grid, NYSEG and other state-regulated utilities will see bills climb by more than $2 per month beginning next year — and even more in subsequent years — if the plan stays on track, the critics said…….

representatives of more than 70 groups — consumer, environmental and conservative — announced they are working in unison to derail the “bailout” of reactors near Rochester and Syracuse.

The subsidy’s cost is expected to top $7 billion, according to a projection by the Public Utility Law Project, which is fighting the plan. Household customers will shoulder about $2.3 billion of that, it said, with the rest passed to industry, institutions and school systems.

“This is one of the biggest transfers of wealth in New York state history,” said Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group………

Under the subsidy, New York utility companies will buy power at inflated rates over two years from the operators of two reactors at Nine Mile Point on the shore of Lake Ontario; the James FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County; and the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Plant in Wayne County……….

The arrangement is also opposed by a conservative think tank, the Empire Center for Public Policy, which notes that New York’s electricity rates are already among the highest in the country.

 Exelon has signaled it will invest $200 million in its New York reactors if the subsidy is approved. If the deal fails to take shape, the plant’s fate is uncertain.

Entergy and Exelon are asking regulators for “prompt approval” of the FitzPatrick sale, noting that a decision needs to be made soon on refueling the plant. Entergy said last year that it planned to close the reactor in early 2017…….

Plans to have 7 million electric ratepayers in New York pick up the cost of the subsidy could also be challenged by operators of small, municipally owned utilities that do not use nuclear power……..

October 6, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Contaminated Water Tanks Without Fondation Bolts at Fukushima Daiichi



More than 1000 contaminated water tanks at Fukushima Daiichi, some do not have fondation bolts.

Even with a moderate earthquake of seismic intensity 4 there is a risk that those contaminated water tanks collapse.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission of Japan has published on their website the seismic statement submitted by TEPCO about those tanks without fondation bolts. Their quake-resistance standard is 0.3G lower.

The photograph below clearly shows the tank without fondation bolts.



Seismic intensity 4 and typhoons could cause the collapse of those contaminated water tanks. In case of tanks collapsing, a large amount of contaminated water would of course flow into the Pacific Ocean.



October 6, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan Grapples with Cost of Scrapping Fukushima Plant


Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, site of the 2011 meltdowns.

TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings promises to shoulder as much of the burden as possible in dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, but additional outside assistance is deemed inevitable to cover the gargantuan cost of dismantling the facility.

An expert panel under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry began deliberations over the additional costs of the 2011 disaster on Wednesday. Attendees included Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, and Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We want to fully meet our responsibility for the Fukushima disaster without receiving government assistance,” said Tepco President Naomi Hirose, who attended as an observer.

Tepco has allocated 2 trillion yen ($19.3 billion) so far in preparation for the decades-long process to decommission its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But it is expected to need trillions more once it starts to remove melted nuclear nuclear fuel from the site.

The bulk of the cost will not hit until the 2020s, so the government has made little progress in creating a framework to provide assistance, unlike efforts in compensating victims and decontaminating the surrounding area.

Hirose explained that once Tepco can give a realistic estimate, it will be required to recognize the entire cost at once and could turn insolvent. “We’d like the government to come up with a framework to eliminate such risks,” he said.

The panel will project decommissioning costs in its future meetings, and will make recommendations to Tepco regarding necessary reforms and restructuring by the end of the year. The utility will aim to create a new management plan in January based on the panel’s proposals. The economy ministry will iron out details on how to assist Tepco based on the expense estimate, such as by creating a reserve fund where Tepco can put aside the necessary money.

The discussion will focus on how much of the cost Tepco can assume through internal reforms. In addition to dismantling the plant, total compensation to victims is already expected to top 6.4 trillion yen, while decontamination could cost about 4 trillion yen — both above projections from January 2014. It will take Tepco and other major utilities decades to pay that off under the current framework. An update is in order.

“I am not in favor of any rescue plan that involves the government shouldering what Tepco should be paying,” said Hitotsubashi University professor Kunio Ito, who heads the expert panel. But he said something like that could happen “as a last resort.” A ministry official also suggested there may be a debate on raising electricity prices to help fund the decommissioning.

If the plan is to hike rates on customers not served by Tepco, the utility needs to put forth a strategy for reform that can satisfy the entire Japanese public. The government’s program will depend on how far Tepco is willing to go.

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco Threatens To Declare Bankruptcy; Dismantling Unit 1


Calls grow to curb further govt. support to TEPCO
Members of a panel looking at how to cover costs from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident say government support to the operator should be limited.
Economic leaders and academic experts attended the first meeting on Wednesday of a committee set up by the industry ministry to discuss decommissioning and compensation costs.
Officials said the government has earmarked about 87 billion dollars for compensation and decontamination work, and that operator Tokyo Electric Power Company has set aside about 19 billion dollars to scrap the crippled reactors.
But they said these funds could fall well short of the amount that will be needed.
Many participants said the utility must bear the increased financial burden through business restructuring and management reforms to curb additional government support.
TEPCO President Naomi Hirose, who took part in the meeting as an observer, warned that his company could become insolvent if it is forced to post the ballooning decommissioning costs as a debt.
He argued that a special accounting rule should be created to avoid a possible insolvency.
Before the next meeting is held, the government plans to show how much the cost of decommissioning the reactors is projected to grow.
Hirose told reporters after the meeting that his company should be the first to foot the bill, and that the firm will consider what should be done to absorb the cost.

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment