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November 10 Energy News



¶ “Managing climate risk in Trump’s America” • The world will forge ahead on reducing emissions without US leadership. The Paris Agreement has already taken effect. While the federal government may not try to meet the US commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, states’ policies and market forces will continue. [The Conversation US]

Street flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Lindenhurst, Long Island  (Photo by Jason DeCrow, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons) Street flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Lindenhurst, Long Island
(Photo by Jason DeCrow, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Trump Can’t Stop the Energy Revolution” • The planet is warming, dangerously so, and burning more coal will make it worse. President-elect Donald Trump thinks man-made climate change is a hoax and he’s promised to revive the US coal industry by cutting regulation. So renewables are dead in the water, right? Maybe not. [Bloomberg]

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers from the US and the UK found evidence that the White Cliffs of…

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November 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Explosion-Fire at Nuclear Power Station Near New York City on Election Day Due to Equipment Failure

Mining Awareness +

Indian Point Nuclear Power Station power lines zoom

The US NRC report says that this “explosion in the protected area” which was “due to equipment failure” occurred at 0840 AM on Tuesday November 8th: “The explosion was to the 138 kV power cross connect cable between the Unit 2 and 3 Station Auxiliary Transformers.” If you look at the above image, all of the power lines appear very cramped at this nuclear power station, apparently increasing the dangers.

Overlay the size of the Chernobyl exclusion zone with rough location of Indian Point Nuclear Power Station and Trump Tower
Chernobyl Overlay Indian Point Nuclear Power Station - Greenpeace OpenStreet Map Trump Tower 5th Ave NY
Greenpeace OpenStreet Map. Wind direction may vary. This is to give an indication of the size.

A 1982 study by Sandia National Laboratories found that a core meltdown and radiological release at one of the two operating Indian Point reactors could cause 50,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome” (Edward Lyman…

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November 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate change may be escalating so fast it could be ‘game over’, scientists warn #auspol


By Ian Johnston

New research suggests the Earth’s climate could be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than thought, raising the spectre of an ‘apocalyptic side of bad’ temperature rise of more than 7C within a lifetime.


If the Earth’s temperature rises seven degrees Celsius, it could trigger the kind of runaway global warming that may have turned Venus from a habitable planet into a 460C version of hell

It is a vision of a future so apocalyptic that it is hard to even imagine.
But, if leading scientists writing in one of the most respected academic journals are right, planet Earth could be on course for global warming of more than seven degrees Celsius within a lifetime.
And that, according to one of the world’s most renowned climatologists, could be “game over” – particularly given the imminent presence of climate change denier Donald Trump in the White House.


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November 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s Promise to be America’s Most Dangerous, Divisive President


Today, both President Obama and President-Elect Trump have urged America to keep calm and united. But despite these overtures, many Americans are experiencing a sensation akin to shock following one of the nastiest, most vitriolic elections in American history. One in which Trump repeatedly scape-goated women and minorities in a bald attempt to pander to some of the most harmful social undercurrents existing in our country.

Given the ugly tone of Trump’s campaign and his loss in the popular vote by 200,000 and growing despite apparent wins in the electoral college, Americans and people abroad alike now feel a very valid sense of deep concern for the future of a fractured Nation and an increasingly threatened world. For what Trump has pledged and promised to do during his Presidential campaign represents a very real risk of severe political, climatalogical, physical, and economic harm for this country, her people…

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November 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 9 Energy News


Science and Technology:

Artist credits Azmaa Omassou / ZME Science / COP22. Artist: Azmaa Omassou / ZME Science / COP22.

¶ Scientists are dismayed at the election of science denier Donald Trump, calling it a huge blow. Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a veteran US observer of the UN climate talks, in Marrakech, Morocco, said he hopes Donald Trump will adopt a more “responsible” view of climate change once he takes office. [Hong Kong Standard]

¶ The World Meteorological Organization has just submitted a detailed climate analysis in a report “The Global Climate in 2011-2015,” the hottest years on record, and it doesn’t look very good. The WMO shows that humanity’s footprint on extreme weather and climate events is becoming more pronounced, dangerous, and costly. [ZME Science]


¶ The smog smothering millions in New Delhi is so thick, it’s plainly visible from space. Visible satellite imagery posted by NASA’s Worldview tool…

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Fukushima Reactor 1 Now Fully Exposed


The No. 1 reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is completely exposed after the last of 18 temporary protective covers was removed on Nov. 10.


Crippled Fukushima Reactor Fully Exposed for the First Time Since 2011 Disaster
The last cover was removed from the Fukushima-1 Nuclear Plant reactor No. 1, local media reported on November 10. Now all the temporary protective constructions have been demolished, and the reactor is completely exposed for the first time since 2011’s nuclear catastrophe.

Demolition works conducted by the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) have been ongoing for two years. Today a large crane lifted off a 20-ton cover, the last of the 18 panels installed after the event.

The next step is the removal of 392 fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pool and melted nuclear fuel from inside the building, Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported

According to Japanese national broadcaster NHK, the fuel extraction will only start in four years. TEPCO is currently installing the necessary equipment and assessing the state of the reactor building’s interior in efforts to remove debris from the collapsed roof over the spent nuclear fuel pool. TEPCO has to be sure to avoid stirring the radioactive dust while shrouding the reactor building with tarpaulins.

The covers were installed in October 2011 as a temporary measure against the spread of radioactive substances after the triple meltdown of the plant.

The tragedy at the Fukushima-1 plant happened on March 11, 2011 after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast coast of Japan, leading to the leakage of radioactive material from the plant into the surrounding environment. The nuclear accident is the largest one since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986. It is expected to take about 40 years to entirely clean up the area.

Last cover removed from crippled reactor in Fukushima

The No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is completely exposed for the first time in five years after the last of the temporary protective covers for the crippled structure was removed Nov. 10.

The next step will be to extract nuclear fuel inside the reactor building, which was wrecked by a hydrogen explosion in the early stages of the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

The covers were installed the following October as a temporary measure against the spread of radioactive substances after the triple meltdown triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

A large crane lifted off the 20-ton cover, the last of the 18 panels installed, around 6 a.m. on Nov. 10.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. began removing the covers one by one in September.

The 392 fuel assemblies are stored in the spent nuclear fuel pool inside the building. Melted fuel also remains inside the reactor.

TEPCO will assess the state of the reactor building’s interior in efforts to remove debris from the collapse of a roof over the spent nuclear fuel pool.

It will take precautions to prevent dust containing radioactive substances from being stirred up by shrouding the reactor building with tarpaulins.


November 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Evacuee Student Bullied as School Failed to Act



YOKOHAMA–A junior high school student evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear disaster is refusing to attend classes due to years of bullying.

At an elementary school, the boy was given a cruel nickname with “germ” added to his name. His tormentors demanded he pay them money from government compensation for disaster victims.

His elementary school failed to take action in the case, which was “tantamount to abandoning the duty of education,” according to a damning report Nov. 9 by an investigative committee of the city’s board of education.

“It’s really disappointing,” said Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi at a news conference the same day. “Not everybody fully understands what people in the disaster-hit areas went through. It is our job to keep educating them by all means possible.”

The boy entered a public elementary school here, south of Tokyo, in August 2011, five months after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The disaster prompted his parents to flee Fukushima Prefecture.

The boy was a second-grader at the time and the bullying started soon after his arrival at the school.

When he was a fifth grader, a group of 10 or so bullies forced him to pay 50,000 yen ($480) to 100,000 yen on around 10 occasions. They apparently spent the money in game arcades and for other purposes.

“You are receiving compensation (for the nuclear accident),” one bully was quoted as saying, referring to financial efforts to alleviate the plight of evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture. The boy stole the cash from his parents to meet their demands.

He began refusing to go to the school on occasion, and now, as a student in a public junior high school, has stopped going to school ever.

In May 2014, his parents complained to the elementary school that the bullying was escalating.

The school held two meetings of an investigative committee into school bullying but concluded the situation was not sufficiently “serious” in terms of the antibullying law.

The school said the investigation was abandoned, citing a “lack of communication with the boy’s guardians.”

The parents asked the city’s board of education in December 2015 to do its own investigation.

The school then finally admitted a “serious situation” existed and the board’s third-party investigative committee started its own probe.

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Japan regulator clears more reactors for restart amid opposition

genkai npp saga pref.jpg

The Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture were given a green light for restart on Wednesday.

Japan’s nuclear regulator cleared another pair of reactors on the southernmost island of Kyushu for restart despite a growing chorus of opponents who object to any resumption of nuclear operations.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved a preliminary report on Wednesday that says Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai Nos. 3 and 4 reactors in Saga Prefecture meet post-Fukushima safety rules, one of the biggest hurdles an operator must clear. A 30-day comment period must be held before any final approval.

Genkai’s approval is another small step for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has backed a policy of restarting the nation’s reactors to lower electricity rates, shore up the economy and boost global competitiveness. However, the looming threat of legal action and local opposition has put the fate of the entire restart process in doubt. Japan aims to have nuclear power account for as much as 22 percent of its energy mix by 2030, compared with more than a quarter before Fukushima and a little more than 1 percent now.

“This news will provide a boost for Japan’s nuclear industry, but progress to restart reactors still lags behind the initial hopes of incumbent utilities,” James Taverner, an energy analyst at IHS Markit Ltd., said by email. “Japan’s policymakers and regulators continue to have a challenge to carefully balance industry needs and public safety concerns.”

Last year, Kyushu Electric restarted the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at its Sendai station, becoming the first utility to bring a reactor back online since new safety rules were brought in following the Fukushima disaster.

Almost 51 percent of the citizens of Saga Prefecture, where the Genkai plant is located, oppose its restart, while 39.3 percent approve, according to a regional newspaper poll conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. The same poll last year showed that 45.3 percent of respondents were against the restart, while 46.8 percent approved.

Restarting both units would boost net income by ¥12 billion ($117 million) a month, Naoko Iguchi, Tokyo-based spokeswoman for the utility, said by phone. The Sendai Nos. 1 and 2 reactors provided a ¥33 billion boost to net income for the six months ended Sept. 30, Masakatsu Tanaka, an official in Kyushu Electric’s Tokyo office, said last month.

The Genkai reactors, with a combined capacity of 2.36 gigawatts, are expected to restart in the fiscal year ending March 2018, the Nikkei reported last month, citing President Michiaki Uriu. The company would consider lowering power rates once four units are online, Tokyo-based Kenji Kawabata, the company’s deputy regional director, said last year.

Almost all the country’s reactors remain shut because of the new safety regulations and public opposition following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Only two of Japan’s 42 operable reactors are producing power commercially as of Oct. 6, when Kyushu Electric shut its Sendai No. 1 unit for maintenance.

Sendai’s return to service may be delayed due to the recent election of a new governor in Kagoshima who strongly opposes its operation. Local government approval — including endorsement from the governor — is traditionally sought by Japanese utilities before returning plants to service.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. fell the most in almost four months on Oct. 17 after Ryuichi Yoneyama was elected governor of Niigata the previous day. Yoneyama opposes Tokyo Electric’s plan to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear facility located in his prefecture.

Japan regulator clears more reactors for restart amid opposition

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima to host some baseball, softball games at 2020 Olympics


Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori (left) shakes hands with Yoshiro Mori, who heads the 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Wednesday in Tokyo, as the committee approved a plan to host baseball and softball games in the prefecture.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers on Wednesday gave the green light for disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture to host baseball and softball games.

Three cities — Fukushima, Koriyama and Iwaki — are under consideration to stage part of the competition as the two sports return to the Olympic program after an absence of 12 years.

Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, will visit Japan next week to inspect the venues. The International Olympic Committee will make the final decision when it holds its executive board meeting from Dec. 6 to 8.

“We want to emphasize this as a ‘recovery games’ and we want to work together with everyone to move it forward,” said 2020 executive board member Toshiaki Endo.

“These Olympics and Paralympics are not just for Tokyo but for the whole of Japan. We only have 1,353 days left, so we need everyone to make an effort so we can put on a fantastic event.”

IOC President Thomas Bach floated the idea of hosting baseball and softball games in Fukushima during a visit to Tokyo last month to take part in the World Forum on Sport and Culture.

“I felt that President Bach had a strong feeling toward Fukushima when he came here,” said Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori. “The idea of a ‘recovery games’ is once again in the spotlight and people are thinking carefully about how that can be achieved.

“It can show the courage of Fukushima Prefecture and the Tohoku region, and on a wider scale Kumamoto and Tottori — places that are working hard to recover from disaster.”

The Yomiuri Giants professional baseball team occasionally hosts Nippon Professional Baseball games at all three venues. Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Iwaki Green Stadium both have capacities of 30,000, while the older Koriyama Kaiseizan Baseball Stadium holds 18,200.

Neighboring Miyagi Prefecture is hoping to stage rowing and canoe sprint events as a result of a cost-cutting review currently being undertaken by the IOC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 organizers and the national government.

“Miyagi Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture all suffered a lot of damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Uchibori.

“These three prefectures have a close bond and always work together. We want to form a movement. We want to show our appreciation to people and get people excited about the Tokyo Olympics. I’d like to consult with my fellow governors.”

Uchibori also said he would like his prefecture to host other Olympic-related events such as training camps and a section of the torch relay.

Baseball and softball were voted back onto the Olympic program as a joint bid at an IOC session in Rio de Janeiro in August ahead of the Summer Games. The format of the competitions has yet to be decided.

Fukushima eyed for baseball, softball games in 2020 Olympics

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment