nuclear-news

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

Federation estimates Fukushima nuke plant cleanup costs, redress may rise to ¥8 trillion ($77.10 billion)

4167689-A-pile-of-10000-Japanese-Yen-notes-Stock-Photo.jpg

 

An industry group has estimated costs for decontamination work at the disaster-struck Fukushima nuclear plant and compensation for nuclear damage to be around ¥8 trillion ($77.10 billion) more than the current official projection, a source said Thursday.

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, which consists of the country’s 10 electric power companies, has informally asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to use state funds to cover the extra costs, the source also said.

The costs are supposed to be covered by the utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where three reactors melted down in the aftermath of the March 2011 quake-tsunami disaster. The government is cautious about using taxpayer money to deal with the issue, the source said.

Under the current estimate, compensation payments are projected to total ¥5.4 trillion, while decontamination costs are forecast to reach ¥2.5 trillion.

Tepco and other nuclear power plant operators have paid contributions for compensation payments to a state-backed fund. As for decontamination costs, the fund will seek to retrieve that money by selling Tepco shares that it owns.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/07/business/federation-estimates-fukushima-nuke-plant-cleanup-costs-redress-may-rise-%C2%A58-trillion/#.V_gNhCTKO-c

 

Advertisements

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Govt. Mulls Ways to Promote Fukushima Produce

The Japanese government plans to create ways to encourage consumers to buy food from Fukushima Prefecture. The area still suffers from the perception that its foodstuffs are unsafe due to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

Reconstruction Minister Masahide Imamura and senior government officials held a meeting on Friday.

The officials reported that a lot produce and processed foods from Fukushima are forced to be sold at prices lower than their pre-accident levels.

They explained farmers and food producers from the region face numerous challenges, such as fewer sales routes and reluctance to buy their products.

They decided to offer benefits to consumers who purchase the food.

Imamura stressed simply advertising won’t be enough and he wants the officials to create a framework that will entice consumers. He noted giving them rewards in a point system is one idea.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161007_35/

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Promoting Fukushima Rice and Sake

1546003390525.jpg

 

On the Issue of Japan, Fukushima and Rice

In Japan, rice is life. The word for “life” is also the word for “meal” or “food.” The importance of rice to the Japanese people cannot be overstated. The word for rice has been called “emotive.” Damage to Japan’s rice crops goes beyond simple damage to the diet. To be confronted with a shortage of rice calls forth powerful feelings of deprivation in the Japanese. Japanese rice, irradiated by the events of “3/11,” is in danger.

3/11” is what the Japanese call the series of deadly disasters which struck northern Japan in March of 2011; the earthquake, tsunami, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown. Northern Japan was devastated and recovery will take many decades.

When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility was badly damaged by irradiation, local crops, including batches of rice grown in Fukushima, found to be badly affected by radiation, were swiftly removed from the market.

Five years after the quake, Fukushima rice producers still have difficulty marketing their produce. But the Japanese government, working in tandem with nonprofits and private organizations, has developed a positive and creative response to the Fukushima food crisis.

The Rice Peace Project Seminar, held on September 19, 2016 in New York, was inspired by the initiatives of a Japanese government supported campaign working together with non-profits, corporate projects, and organizations, including the NPO Project 88.

The NPO Project 88, which takes name from the 88 processes of rice production, mobilizes Japanese high-quality rice as an emergency relief food. Developing tasty, nutritious, non-GMO, low pesticide, and allergen-free, organic and gluten-free rice products is also central to NPO Project 88’s mission, helping to spread peace and disaster-relief in the world through rice.

The Rice Peace Project Seminar, held to publicize the efforts of the NPO Project 88, featured three speakers from Japan. Mrs. Akie Abe, spouse of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Hiroshi Sakurai, President of the sake brewery Asahi Shuzo, and Ms. Nari Takahashi, President of NPO Project 88. The speeches were followed by a sushi tasting prepared by Sushi Chef Yoichi Akashi of Kappo Akashi using Eco-rice as well as a tasting of “Dassai” sake, the sake Prime Minister Abe offered President Obama during the U.S. President’s 2014 visit to Japan.

Jeff Santos, CEO of the Santos Media Group who hosted the seminar, introduced Mrs. Akia Abe. Santos described Mrs. Abe as an activist. Abe is actively engaged in supporting the NPO Project 88 and in promoting Fukushima’s agricultural industry by creating Yamato No Kokoro sake from rice produced in Fukushima.

Mrs. Akie Abe said that in 2011, in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake, she realized the importance of supporting Japanese food production, especially rice. With the encouragement of US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, Abe began to support the production of Fukushima rice and sake,

Abe described the production of rice in Japan as highly political. She said that 150 years ago, after extensive warring between the Chochu and Aizu clans. the two prefectures began to cultivate rice for sake and to brew sake, jointly. The joint effort was successful and the two prefectures now live in harmony.

Abe said that for Japanese, now as always, rice and sake are spiritual foods. “In Japan, we like to get our hands dirty [working the land.] We are a part of nature. We owe our gratitude to nature. It is my pleasure to work with rice producers and sake producers.”

She closed with a warm invitation: “Please enjoy the sushi and sake tasting today and please also come to Japan to enjoy them!”

Hiroshi Sakurai, President of Sake Brewery Asahi Shuzo, opened with praise for Japanese sake in general and Asahi Shuzo’s sake in particular. “Sake has to be ‘oishii’ (delicious) If it is not delicious what is the point of creating it? And our sake is especially ‘oishii!’”

Sakurai said that he wanted to show two world leaders enjoying Japanese sake, Prime Minister Abe and US President Barack Obama. Sakurai’s photo array displayed pictures from the U.S. President’s 2014 visit to Japan.

Sakurai said that his company, Asahi Shuzo, had partnered with the king of rice producers, Yamada Nishiki, accounting for 6.5 percent of total rice production in Japan. He has a staff of 100 and his employees are the best. Production is entirely by hand- they do not use machines. Production is around the clock, 24/7, to produce “oishii” sake.

Sakurai said that rice production in Japan is very eco- friendly. They recycle all that remains from rice production, such as rice husks, used to make sembei, or rice milk.

In closing, he said: “We are eager to promote our sake and we hope you enjoy the tasting.”

Nari Takashashi, President of NPO Project 88. Ms. Takahashi said that rice was the first food served to Fukushima quake victims. It was sometimes all that aged survivors could eat. And for those who could not eat plain rice she and her company developed soft rice cakes. They were very popular, as were their cream puffs.

Takahashi said that some kids with allergies couldn’t eat even the rice cookies or cream puffs. So she developed allergy-free cookies made with rice powder and delivered to the schools. Kids loved them.

Takahashi said that the application for allergy free products goes well beyond Fukushima. Survivors of the Kumamoto quake this past April are their next potential customers. She believes there is a huge market for these products world wide, especially to disaster survivors and to millennials.

After this spirited set of speeches, it was no surprise that the sushi and sake tastings were extraordinary.

http://intpolicydigest.org/2016/10/06/on-the-issue-of-japan-fukushima-and-rice/

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Sendai N°1 nuclear reactor shuttered for safety work

hkjlkmlù.jpg

Nuclear reactor buildings of the Kyushu Electric’s Sendai nuclear power plant in southern Kagoshima in 2015.

Japan nuclear reactor shuttered for safety work

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.

Dozens of reactors were switched off in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima accident, the worst nuclear disaster in a generation.

Anti-atomic sentiment still runs high five years later, challenging a push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and utility companies to switch Japan’s stable of reactors back on.

The catastrophe forced resource-poor Japan to turn to expensive fossil fuels to plug its energy gap, but fears about the safety of nuclear power and radiation exposure linger.

The two Sendai reactors were restarted last year under new safety regulations brought in after Fukushima, where reactors went into meltdown in March 2011 after a huge earthquake and tsunami.

Another reactor has been restarted at the Ikata plant in western Japan.

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.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-nuclear-reactor-shuttered-for-safety-work/3184554.html

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Cleanup Talks Put Tepco Survival Risk in Focus

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is still struggling to put the Fukushima nuclear disaster behind it, admitting this week that paying for decommissioning the plant in one go risks leaving it insolvent.

The cost to insure debt in Japan’s biggest utility climbed to a seven-month high of 89 basis points on Oct. 5 after President Naomi Hirose said after a meeting in Tokyo with a government commission that the company is asking for help in avoiding financial ruin. Tepco has already received state aid for compensation and decontamination.

The March 2011 nuclear accident and its fallout will ultimately cost more than 11 trillion yen ($106 billion), according to a study by academics including Kenichi Oshima, a professor of economics at Ritsumeikan University. Tepco has estimated that decommissioning alone will cost about 2 trillion yen. Investors should hold off buying bonds of other utilities until there is more clarity on how the government will close the Fukushima plant, according to BNP Paribas SA.

Now is not the best time to be investing in electricity utility bonds, with discussions going on about nuclear plant decommissioning, and the potential for spreads to widen,” said Mana Nakazora, chief credit analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. Even so, she added, “the government has little choice but to take measures to avoid a default by Tokyo Electric.”

-1x-1.png

While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has committed to provide up to 9 trillion yen for compensation to individuals and business hurt by the Fukushima disaster and for decontaminating areas affected, that figure doesn’t include decommissioning of the nuclear plant itself, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service last month.

Scrapping the Fukushima reactors may take 30 years to 40 years, and Tokyo Electric will only start removing debris from the plant from in 2021, a decade after the incident, according to the utility’s road map for dealing with the remnants of the disaster.

In speaking to reporters, Tepco President Hirose was probably making a public case for more government support, according to Yutaka Ban, the chief credit analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo. Ban said he saw little probability that support will be withheld.

Things will likely settle down” after the government adopts the new measures, said Ban. “Without government support, the costs would be extremely high.”

For a Bloomberg Intelligence report on Asia-Pacific utilities, click here.

Tepco’s credit-default swaps have come down from as high as 1,762 basis points in October 2011, according to data provider CMA. The utility has said it plans to return to the bond market by the end of the fiscal year to March 2017. Jun Oshima, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric, said that plan is still in place. It stopped issuing notes after the Fukushima disaster.

The extra yield on Tepco’s 1.155 percent bonds due in 2020 was 64 basis points more than sovereign debt, the lowest since before the Fukushima disaster, according to Bloomberg-compiled prices. The spread on Osaka-based Kansai Electric Power Co.’s 0.976 percent notes due in 2020 was 39 basis points.

Tokyo Electric has a Ba3 rating from Moody’s and BB- score from S&P Global Ratings, both three levels below investment grade.

Decommissioning is currently the biggest unknown, and clarity matters in terms of credit,” said Mariko Semetko, a Moody’s analyst in Tokyo. “The lack of clarity there has been holding back the credit quality.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-06/fukushima-clean-up-talks-put-tepco-survival-risk-back-in-focus

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Sickness at the Heart of Nuclear Policy

Letter in today’s Daily Mail

Sickness at Heart of Nuclear Policy.jpg

While people ‘Stand Up to Cancer’, the Department of Health has released its Review of Childhood Cancer Incidence near Sellafield and Dounreay.

In the Eighties, the families of 19 children living within 20 miles of Sellafield took the site operators to court.  The children all had leukaemia.  They lost their case, the judge ruling that the radiation dose to the public from the plant was too low to have caused luekaemia.

The Government subscribes to the 1988 Leo Kinlen theory, which suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in childhood leukaemia.  Prof Kinlen said: “This exposure is greater when people from urban areas mix with rural communities eg when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area.”  History is about to repeat itself.  The Government plans to parachute into Cumbria 4,000 temporoary workers to work at Beckermet (population…

View original post 226 more words

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 7 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “UK fracking decision is nothing short of hypocrisy” • Climate-polluting fracking, which is unproven in the UK, gets “all-out” government backing, with ministers steamrolling whatever local opposition might arise. Meanwhile, low-cost and low-carbon onshore windfarms get undermined, with local opposition given power to block applications. [The Guardian]

Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment. (Photo: Alamy) Cuadrilla Resources drilling pumping equipment. (Photo: Alamy)

Science and Technology:

¶ As renewable energy accelerates its pace in electricity markets, wind power has seemingly hit stride. It is expected to see further price drops because of economies of scale and technological improvements. The cost of producing electricity via wind power is expected to fall 24%-30% by 2030, according to researchers at US DOE laboratories. [Environmental Leader]

¶ A commercial-scale, 500-kW kite-driven power station is set to be created in Scotland. The kites fly to heights of up to 450 meters in a figure-of-eight pattern, pulling tethers as…

View original post 651 more words

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station Built on a Barrier Island Post-Hurricane Camille: Nuclear Foolishness; Matthew Warning

Mining Awareness +

St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station on a Barrier Island
a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” Matthew 7:26-27, KJV

Look at the location of St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station! It is on a thin barrier island off of the mainland and surrounded by water! A mentally disabled person would never be foolish enough to build a nuclear power station here on a barrier island (sandbar). Especially after Hurricane Camille, only a nuclear “genius” could come up with some far-fetched justification of why it was ok to construct a nuclear power station on a barrier island off of the coast of the Florida mainland.

Hurricane Camille split Ship Island in two forming “Camille Cut”, which is 3.5 miles wide. And, for that matter, none of the nuclear power…

View original post 2,606 more words

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UPDATED: Matthew’s Nightmarish Storm Surge Takes Aim at 430-Mile Stretch of U.S. Coast

robertscribbler

All throughout yesterday and today the story has been the same — dangerous hurricane Matthew is strengthening in a record-hot atmosphere and ocean environment as it continues to take a course that will result in severe flooding impacts for a massive swath of the southeastern U.S. seaboard.

An Extraordinarily Powerful Category 4 Hurricane

As of 5 PM EST today, the center of Hurricane Matthew was located about 25 miles to the south of Freeport, Bahamas. The storm was tracking off to the north-northwest, making steady progress toward Florida and a large section of the U.S. coastline. Since yesterday, maximum sustained winds have increased from around 120 mph to a present peak wind speed of around 140 mph. More importantly, the storm’s minimum central pressure is falling. As of the 5 PM advisory, the storm’s lowest pressure reading stood at 936 millibars — about 2 mb stronger than Hurricane Sandy’s peak…

View original post 821 more words

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To October 8th – the week in Climate and Nuclear news

a-cat-CANInvestigative journalism this week – yes, it still can happen. This time, it’s the Washington Post, revealing the scandalous origin of the rare earths that we use so prolifically in all our new gizmos – from mobile phones to wind turbines.Cobalt mining in the Congo. Graphite mining in China.

CLIMATE. Earth is locked into’ Temperatures Not Seen in 2 Million Years.  Climate change could become self perpetuating- danger in Indonesia’s peatlands, and fires. Much higher methane emissions from fossil fuels – previously were underestimated.  Climate change could bring megadroughts to California. Next month, Paris climate agreement will enter into force.

NUCLEAR. 

UN court rejects Marshall Islands nuclear arms lawsuit.

USA.

Diplomacy Is Over As Russia and The U.S. Face Off.

RUSSIA has suspended its nuclear and energy research agreement with the United States.

JAPAN. Nuclear cash cow Monju now a liability for residents as plant faces ax.   Japan’s nuclear regulator caves to industry interests yet again–Gives nearly 40 year old reactor a green light before the aging safety review even completed.

Fukushima. Japan Grapples with Cost of Scrapping Fukushima PlantTepco Threatens To Declare Bankruptcy; Dismantling Unit 1.  Tainted Water Grows at Fukushima N-Plant despite Ice Wall.

UK.  Building to Start on New Nuclear Submarines as UK Government Announces £1.3 billion Investment. Britain sited 2 nuclear power plants on eroding shingle beach.  So far, in 2016, solar energy is outstripping coal power in UK.

FRANCE. In northern France thousands protest against nuclear power. Tribulations of the nuclear industry, as serious safety flaws found in EDF’s nuclear reactors.

IRAN. U.N. atomic agency chief says Iran sticking to nuclear deal.

NIGER. Tuareg Activist Takes on AREVA: Uranium Mining in Niger.

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima

51k411oBOLL.jpg

by Aya Hirata Kimura (Author)

Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011 many concerned citizens—particularly mothers—were unconvinced by the Japanese government’s assurances that the country’s food supply was safe. They took matters into their own hands, collecting their own scientific data that revealed radiation-contaminated food. In Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists Aya Hirata Kimura shows how, instead of being praised for their concern about their communities’ health and safety, they faced stiff social sanctions, which dismissed their results by attributing them to the work of irrational and rumor-spreading women who lacked scientific knowledge. These citizen scientists were unsuccessful at gaining political traction, as they were constrained by neoliberal and traditional gender ideologies that dictated how private citizens—especially women—should act. By highlighting the challenges these citizen scientists faced, Kimura provides insights into the complicated relationship between science, foodways, gender, and politics in post-Fukushima Japan and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Riveting and smart, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists tracks the efforts made by citizens in post-Fukushima Japan to ensure the safety of their food from radioactive contamination. In the face of state neglect and criticism from fellow Japanese, these initiatives display a ‘soft’ boldness (versus activist politics). Interweaving stories of citizen scientists and ‘radiation brain moms’ with sharp theoretics that deconstruct the entanglements of science, neoliberalism, and postfeminism at work, this book is at once powerful and timely.”

(Anne Allison, author of Precarious Japan)

“Based on careful research, extensive fieldwork, and a judicious use of political and feminist theory, this book’s relevance to political and social developments extends beyond Japan’s borders. It is a reminder of the ongoing effects of the Fukushima disaster in Japan at a time when these effects are being increasingly ignored by the global media. A timely and important book, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists will appeal to scholars of contemporary Japanese society as well as science and technology studies scholars, especially those interested in the gender dimensions of science and technology.”

(Tessa Morris-Suzuki, author of Borderline Japan: Foreigners and Frontier Controls in the Postwar Era)

About the Author

Aya Hirata Kimura is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and the author of Hidden Hunger: Gender and Politics of Smarter Foods.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZOKQWE

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive water leaks from storage tank at Fukushima plant

gghkjkllm.jpg

The latest contaminated water leak at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant occurred at a flange-type storage tank, whose seams are connected by bolts.

Up to 32 liters of radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, but the contaminated liquid has been contained, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Oct. 6.

The leaked water is currently within barriers surrounding the tank that are designed to block the flow of fluids, TEPCO, the plant’s operator, said.

The liquid contained water that had been treated to remove radioactive strontium and other substances, as well as highly contaminated water from the bottom of the tank that was stored shortly after the nuclear accident started in 2011.

A radioactivity level of 590,000 becquerels of beta ray-emitting materials was detected per liter of the leaked water.

The water seeped out of a tank with bolted seams on its sides, which are more prone to leaks than those with welded walls.

TEPCO continues to use the bolted containers despite the risk because production of welded tanks cannot keep pace with the buildup of contaminated water, mainly from groundwater entering the damaged reactor buildings, at the nuclear plant.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610070036.html

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan Political Pulse: A helping hand following radiation misfortune

20141121_abe_koizumi_article_main_image.jpg

 

Recently former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, 74, was seen talking to 62-year-old Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Their encounter was recorded on a photo page of the Sept. 29 issue of the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun.

The scene was Aoyama Funeral Hall in Tokyo, where they had attended the Sept. 15 funeral of former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Koichi Kato and were waiting for their cars to arrive. For about 90 seconds the “master and disciple” stood side by side. Below are the details of Koizimi’s comments and the prime minister’s reaction, which didn’t appear in Shukan Bunshun.

Koizumi: “Why don’t you totally eliminate nuclear power plants?”

Abe: (Faint smile, bow)

Koizumi: “Having zero nuclear power plants is cheaper. Why don’t you understand such a simple thing? It’s all lies, what the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is saying. The things advocates of nuclear power plants are saying — they’re all lies. Don’t be fooled.”

Abe: (Wry smile, bows again, and with head kept low heads to official vehicle)

Koizumi is currently pouring his efforts into a fund to support those who say they were affected by radiation during “Operation Tomodachi,” a U.S. Armed Forces operation to support Japan in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Over 400 soldiers from the USS Ronald Regan aircraft carrier and accompanying ships complained of ill-health after helping in rescue efforts following their urgent dispatch to the seas off Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Some of them are said to have died from causes including leukemia.

The aircraft carrier fleet worked intermittently in a radiation plume from the stricken power plant between March 13 and 17, 2011. After returning home from Japan, a stream of soldiers developed ailments including brain tumors and thyroid cancer. The nuclear plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), and the Japanese and U.S. governments acknowledged that they had been exposed to low-level radiation, but do not accept a causal relationship between exposure and their illnesses.

Koizumi learned that some soldiers had left the military at a young age, had no insurance and couldn’t pay their medical fees. It was in May this year that the former prime minister traveled to the United States and directly inquired about their circumstances.

Former soldiers earlier filed a lawsuit against parties including TEPCO, and oral arguments over whether jurisdiction of the case should lie in Japan or the United States were heard in an appeals court in California on Sept. 1. At the time, a Japanese government adviser is said to have supported an agent for TEPCO, stating that radiation exposure is the responsibility of the U.S. military.

Koizumi, who read a note on the hearing (carried in the Sept. 9 issue of the magazine Shukan Kinyobi), responded immediately.

“This is embarrassing. They were relief efforts for Japan, right? The American judge is said to have been appalled,” he was quoted as saying.

On July 5, Koizumi appeared in a news conference with figures including former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, 78, and Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara, 61, an adviser at The Johnan Shinkin Bank, to announce the start of fundraising activities to help the U.S. soldiers. Koizumi himself approached the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) but was turned away on the grounds that TEPCO is a member of the federation.

Reinforcements have nevertheless appeared on the funding front. Japanese architect Tadao Ando, 75, posed the following question: “Mr. Koizumi, will you come to Osaka and give a lecture? I’ll assemble 1,000 people. With a fee of 10,000 yen per person, that’ll bring in 10 million yen.”

When Koizumi appeared at the lecture in August, 1,300 people turned up. The same style of lecture is due to be held in Tokyo on Nov. 16, organized by the head of a group of managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally, the president of a solar power generation company provided 10 million yen.

Through these efforts, the total has climbed to 50 million yen. Koizumi apparently hopes to amass 100 million yen by next spring.

The connection between radiation exposure and the development of illness is delicate. There’s a possibility of developing cancer, but there are doubts about whether a person would suddenly die, experts say.

On Sept. 7, Koizumi spoke at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo’s Yurakucho district. He was asked if it was responsible to talk about damage from radiation exposure without presenting scientific evidence.

Below is the gist of his reply:

“I’m no longer a member of the government. I’m a civilian. There are people who are actually suffering. It’s common sense for me to support them.”

Fundraising and service instead of criticism; denial of the perception of saying, “Radiation exposure is the responsibility of the U.S. military” to protect nuclear power policies … I support this form of common sense from our former prime minister. (By Takao Yamada, Special Senior Writer)

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161003/p2a/00m/0na/021000c

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Matthew could endanger Florida’s nuclear reactors

nuke-&-seaLWhat if Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida’s Nuclear Reactors?, Clean Energy Footprints,   Hurricane Matthew has already caused devastation in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Tracking this dangerous storm’s path, which Bloomberg reported as a “$15 billion threat,” as it moves towards Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and potentially up the Eastern seaboard is proving difficult. But despite unclear predictions, communities are wisely mobilizing and calling for evacuations (or are already in the process of doing so) and/or declaring states of emergency.

Extreme weather events have widespread ramifications on our electricity systems. A Department of Energy review of responses to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy from nuclear reactors in the Northeast highlighted a number of strategies to protect the reactors. According to the Department of Energy, “Some reactors were shut as a precaution to protect equipment from the storm; others were forced to shut down or reduce power output due to damage to plant facilities or transmission infrastructure serving the plant; and still others were forced to reduce power output due to reduced power demand caused by widespread utility customer outages.”

Two nuclear power plants exist on Florida’s eastern coast: the St. Lucie and Turkey Point facilities. Based on the current National Hurricane Center projections, it appears that Hurricane Matthew will come closest to the St. Lucie nuclear facility early Friday morning. Storm surge near the St. Lucie nuclear reactors may reach 2-5 feet, and with hurricane force winds of 130 miles per hour. Meanwhile, a significant water quality problem in the Southeast is the ongoing pollution at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) Turkey Point cooling canal system. It’s unclear what effects high winds and storm surge could have on Turkey Point’s open air industrial sewer.

After flooding caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan, the Miami News Times published an article, “Five reasons Turkey Point could be the next nuclear disaster.” The article noted: “Just like in Japan, Turkey Point is susceptible to a meltdown caused by a natural disaster. A hurricane-spurred tidal surge from Turkey Point’s neighboring Biscayne Bay could create catastrophic conditions identical to those in Japan. With power down, the plant would be forced to rely on emergency diesel generators to pump water to cool the reactors….those generators would ‘certainly’ become inundated with water from the tidal surge, causing them to drown and fail.” (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Tropical Audubon with Friends of the Everglades filed a lawsuit this summer to resolve the pollution problem caused by Turkey Point.)……….http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2016/10/05/nuclearhurricanematthew/

October 7, 2016 Posted by | climate change, safety, USA | Leave a comment

USA Vice Presidential candidates in debate – avoid climate change and energy

USA election 2016VPs raise energy, then drop it like a hot piece of coal, Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Wednesday, October 5, 2016  The candidates for vice president rushed into energy issues last night during their only debate before the election. In their opening answers, Democrat Tim Kaine, the Virginia senator, mentioned climate change, and Republican Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor, objected to a “war on coal.”

Then those issues evaporated, as the running mates defended the positions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on issues like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, diplomacy with Russia and the role of government in abortion.

Instead, the arguments over climate change largely took place outside the debate hall at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

Hours before the debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged undecided voters in Minneapolis to support Clinton based on her plan to address rising temperatures. That dovetails with the Clinton campaign’s efforts to attract young voters who supported Sanders in the primary race, but who have resisted committing to Clinton.

“So I say to anyone out there who is wavering as to whom they may want to support for president, think about your kids, think about your grandchildren, think about future generations and understand that we cannot elect a president of the United States who believes that climate change is a hoax,” Sanders said, referring to Trump. “We need to elect a president who is going to be aggressive in transforming our energy system, and that candidate is Hillary Clinton.”

Former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore is also planning to campaign on Clinton’s behalf to shore up her flagging support among millennials, a key demographic that is showing signs of splitting for third-party candidates. CNN and The Washington Post first reported Gore’s involvement.

The Clinton campaign has in recent weeks taken advantage of Trump’s previous comments questioning the existence of climate change. Trump has called global warming a “hoax” and said it’s “bullshit,” a position that roughly half of Republicans agree with, according to polls.

Yesterday, Clinton took aim at Pence. Hours before last night’s debate, the campaign released an online video describing Pence as “a divisive, anti-woman, anti-worker extremist.” The video also highlighted a Pence campaign web page from 2000 that described climate change as a liberal invention to advance the Kyoto Protocol.

“Global warming is a myth,” Pence said on the website, according to the Clinton campaign. “The global warming treaty is a disaster. There, I said it. Just like the ‘new ice age’ scare of the 1970’s, the environmental movement has found a new chant for their latest ‘chicken little’ attempt to raise taxes and grow centralized governmental power. The chant is ‘the sky is warming! the sky is warming!'”

Kaine, who has led the campaign’s climate attacks, has been using Trump’s views to help mobilize young Democrats to vote.

“Do you believe in climate science, or don’t you?” Kaine said recently in Houston. “If you do, you should vote for Hillary and Tim, because the other guys are against you.”

He also mentioned Pence specifically…….http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060043857

October 7, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment