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Nuclear Accident Compensation System Kept

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A panel of experts has agreed that the compensation system for nuclear accidents should be maintained. It imposes unlimited responsibility on power companies.

The system states that utilities bear unlimited liability for damages even if they are not at fault in nuclear accidents.

The government’s Atomic Energy Commission set up a committee of experts to review the system. That’s because the amount of compensation has become huge in connection with the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, and a harsher business environment was expected after deregulation of the electricity market. The experts started discussions in May 2015.

At a meeting on Wednesday, many participants opposed establishing a cap on utility liability and having the shortfall covered by the government. They said residents near nuclear plants and the general public will not accept it.

Some observers say the current system creates too massive risks for utilities. Others argue the public will have to shoulder the burden if the government takes some responsibility.

The committee will also discuss an increase in the amount that power companies are required to reserve for possible compensation from about 1 billion dollars. The increase could lead to a rise in electricity rates.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161117_01/

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November 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

TEPCO may struggle to find partners due to Fukushima decommissioning costs

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Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, right front, speaks at a meeting of the ministry’s expert panel on reform of TEPCO and issues related to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Nov. 15, 2016.

Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), presented a proposal to reform the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s expert panel on Nov. 15.
Under the proposal submitted by Hirose on the reform of TEPCO and issues related to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, TEPCO is to collaborate with other power companies in the areas of nuclear power generation and energy transmission and distribution in an effort to boost its earning power. But if other major utilities were to work with TEPCO on a nuclear power project, questions would be raised about how to split risks such as decommissioning costs for the crippled Fukushima plant among companies concerned. Such being the case, TEPCO will likely have difficulty finding partners.

Hirose attended the closed-door expert committee meeting as an observer. Committee chairman Kunio Ito (specially-appointed professor at Hitotsubashi University) and a senior industry ministry official revealed the details of Hirose’s reform proposal at a news conference after the panel meeting.

According to details revealed at the news conference, Hirose proposed to step up TEPCO’s cooperation with other power companies on its nuclear power business including the areas of safety measures, joint technological development and overseas business operations. The industry ministry had already proposed at an expert panel meeting that TEPCO spin off its nuclear business into a subsidiary and collaborate with other utilities, among other moves. TEPCO is expected to incorporate these plans into the “New Comprehensive Special Business Plan” that is set to be revised early next year in line with discussions at expert panel meetings.

Under the current New Comprehensive Special Business Plan, TEPCO assumes reactivation of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant as a source of earnings to be used to rebuild itself. But there are no prospects of the power plant being reactivated as the governor of Niigata Prefecture, which hosts the nuclear facility, is taking a cautious stance toward reactivation. The industry ministry wants to secure understanding of a plan to reactivate the nuclear power plant by improving the creditworthiness of TEPCO’s nuclear business through collaboration with other utilities. But because there is a possibility of other power companies being forced to shoulder the costs of decommissioning the crippled Fukushima plant, it remains unclear whether TEPCO will be able to cooperate with those utilities as envisioned.

A member of the expert panel was quoted as saying at the meeting, “A proper alliance cannot be formed unless ways of shutting off the risks (for possible alliance partners) are considered. Hirose also proposed that TEPCO work with other firms in the area of power generation and transmission, as well as jointly procure materials with other firms.

As for the costs of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which are expected to exceed the initial estimate by several trillion yen, and expenses for paying compensation to nuclear disaster victims, the expert panel confirmed plans for TEPCO to minimize financial burdens on the public through management efforts. An expert panel member was quoted as saying at the Nov. 15 meeting, “If TEPCO’s liability is defined as limited, the general public will see the move as relief measures for TEPCO. We should carefully consider public opinion.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161116/p2a/00m/0na/008000c

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Another operation approval of aging nuclear reactor contradicts 40-year rule

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The No. 3 reactor of the Mihama Nuclear Power Station in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, is pictured in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on Nov. 12, 2016.

Another operation approval of aging nuclear reactor contradicts 40-year rule

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has allowed Kansai Electric Power Co. to continue running the No. 3 reactor at its Mihama Nuclear Power Station in Fukui Prefecture beyond the 40-year limit.
This is the third nuclear reactor in the country that will have been allowed to continue to operate beyond the 40-year limit — following the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Takahama plant also in Fukui Prefecture.

The move contradicts rules stipulating that nuclear reactors should be decommissioned after being operated for 40 years, in principle.

It had been viewed as extremely difficult to extend the lifespan of Mihama’s No. 3 reactor because of its old design and difficulties in improving the reactor’s quake resistance as the plant operator is required to largely increase the estimate of the scale of the maximum earthquake that could hit the plant.

As such, the NRA once hinted that it would discontinue examinations of the reactor to see if it meets the new regulatory standards.

However, Kansai Electric Power spent 165 billion yen on measures to enhance the safety of the reactor. The NRA increased its personnel to accelerate the examination of the plant, and managed to approve the continuation of its operation by the deadline.

Six aging nuclear reactors across the country are set to be shut down and decommissioned. Their operators voluntarily decided to decommission these reactors, whose outputs are small, considering the units’ cost-benefit performance.

However, if power companies apply for permission to extend the lifespan of nuclear reactors, the NRA will almost certainly grant permission.

The rules limiting the operation of a nuclear reactor to 40 years, in principle, was established with the aim of reducing Japan’s reliance on atomic power stations following the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011. Both the NRA and power companies should go back to the fundamentals of the rules.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161116/p2a/00m/0na/019000c

Operation extension approved for Mihama reactor

Japan’s nuclear regulator has said an aging reactor will be allowed to operate beyond its 40-year maximum life span.

The No.3 reactor at the Mihama nuclear power plant, on the Sea of Japan coast, has been given a 20-year extension. The Nuclear Regulation Authority made the unanimous decision on Wednesday.

The reactor, in Fukui Prefecture, went offline in March 2011 for a regular checkup and has not been restarted.

The Mihama reactor turns 40 years old later this year, and it will now be permitted to run until November 2036.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority heard evidence on Wednesday that the reactor’s pipes and electric cables are expected to meet required standards for up to 60 years since operations began in 1976.

Some members referred to a 2004 accident at the reactor in which 5 workers were killed after high-temperature steam leaked from a damaged pipe. They urged the operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, to keep checking for possible decay to the facility.

The reactor is the third in Japan to be granted an extension, after 2 reactors at the nearby Takahama plant were approved for restarts in June.

Kansai Electric said it will not restart operations until additional safety work has been completed, by March 2020 at the earliest. It said it believes the restart will be economically practical.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161116_18/

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima boy mocked as ‘germ’ releases notes about bullying

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A note written by the 13-year-old boy who was bullied after transferring from a school in Fukushima Prefecture to one in Yokohama is seen. Parts of the note are blacked out for privacy reasons.

Fukushima boy mocked as ‘germ’ releases notes about bullying

YOKOHAMA–Notes written by a boy from disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture reveal the relentless bullying he faced and his sense of hopelessness, but they also show a positive attitude that kept his suicidal thoughts at bay.

Reports of classmates’ cruelty toward the boy, including payments of money, after he transferred to a Yokohama elementary school have again put bullying in the national spotlight.

The boy wrote the notes in July 2015, when he was a sixth-grader at the public elementary school. His family had moved to the city from Fukushima Prefecture five months after the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant unfolded in March 2011.

The notes were released on Nov. 15 through Tomohiro Kurosawa, a lawyer representing the boy.

In his notes, the boy wrote that he “thought many times about dying” to escape his predicament.

But he did not want to become another victim of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that caused the triple meltdown at the plant.

He wrote that he decided to live because “so many people had to die” in the quake and tsunami.

The home of the boy’s family was outside the evacuation zone designated by the central government, but his parents decided to move the family partly over fears of possible health damage from the radiation.

After his transfer to the school in Yokohama, some classmates attached “kin,” which means “germ,” to his name, suggesting that he was contaminated. It became his nickname.

I found it heartbreaking because, every day, I was treated as if I were a germ or radiation,” he wrote. “I believe that people from Fukushima have become the targets of bullying. I could offer no resistance (to the bullying).”

In May 2014, when he was in the fifth grade, he started going to game arcades and amusement parks with 10 or so classmates, according to an investigative panel at the Yokohama municipal board of education. His tormentors made him cover the costs of those outings, saying the boy’s family was being well-compensated for the nuclear accident.

The boy apparently stole cash from his parents to pay for nearly 10 such outings, ranging from 50,000 yen ($463) to 100,000 yen each time, including meals and travel expenses.

He even bought air guns for two other children so that they could play together.

The total amount he paid for those occasions was 1.5 million yen, according to Kurosawa.

I was deeply frustrated and upset when they told me to bring the money, but I could not do anything, feeling just fearful, because I was afraid they would bully me again if I resist,” the boy said in the notes. “I was angered when they told me that I have compensation money (for the nuclear disaster), and I find it vexing that I could not resist.”

The bullying came to the attention of parents of other children in May 2014, and they informed school officials that the boy was paying money to his classmates.

The same month, the boy’s parents asked the school about their son’s missing cap, saying somebody might have hidden it.

The school began looking into the boy’s case, but he had already lost confidence in the teachers.

I told (my teachers) all I had experienced, but nobody believed me,” the boy wrote.

Yuko Okada, superintendent of the city education board, acknowledged that school officials failed to respond appropriately to the boy’s case.

The boy did not attend school for more than a month, and there was a report suggesting that the boy paid money,” Okada said of the boy’s absence from school, which began in late May 2014. “The school should have considered it a grave case as of June 2014, when he was in the fifth grade.”

According to Kurosawa, school officials interviewed the bullies, who insisted that the boy paid the money “out of his own will.” The school concluded this was not a case of bullying.

The school officials did not interview the boy.

Sachiko Takeda, an education critic well versed in the bullying issue, criticized the school officials for lacking the sense to protect children from potential bullying.

It was essential for officials to have looked at the issue from his perspective, that the bullying could stop once he gives them money,” she said. “The officials should have paid extra attention to children from Fukushima Prefecture because there were already reports across the country that they tend to become targets of bullying.”

In addition, Takeda said adults should do some soul-searching because they pass on to children the mistaken perception that “radiation is contagious” and that evacuees who fled on their own “receive a large amount of money in compensation for the nuclear disaster.”

The boy graduated from the elementary school and is now attending a free school for absentee students, according to Kurosawa.

The boy said he decided to make his notes public in hopes that “bullying will disappear” after hearing a flurry of media reports about deaths of bullied children.

I am also hoping that my notes can comfort, even slightly, many children (in a similar situation),” he said.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611160066.html

Note written by Fukushima evacuee bullied at new school released

YOKOHAMA — A 13-year-old boy who had been bullied after transferring to an elementary school here from Fukushima Prefecture due to the nuclear disaster wrote that he “thought about dying many times” in a note revealed on Nov. 15 by an attorney representing the boy and his family.

The attorney released a statement by the boy’s parents along with the three-page note their son wrote in July last year, when he was a sixth grader. The boy stated in the note that his new classmates in Yokohama demanded money, saying that he must have received compensation because his family had fled their hometown in Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear meltdowns in 2011. It also said he was called a “germ,” and that he was worried the name-calling was prompted by radiation associated with the nuclear disaster. The bullying reportedly continued for three years, from second to fifth grades, and he was unable to attend classes as a result.

The boy wrote, “I thought about dying many times, but I decided to live, even though it is painful, because a lot of people died in the disaster.”

According to the attorney, the boy decided to disclose his notes in hopes of encouraging fellow bullying victims. He wrote about the time his classmates demanded money, saying, “It makes me mad that they told me I have compensation money, and it’s also frustrating that I could not fight back,” adding, “I couldn’t do anything because I was scared of being bullied again.” The boy also wrote about his feelings when he was called a “germ,” saying, “It was painful because I thought it was because of radiation. I realized that people from Fukushima would be bullied (because of the disaster).”

The boy wrote in the notes that the school did not believe him even though he told teachers about the bullying, and that they ignored him when he tried to consult them.

Meanwhile, the boy’s parents criticized the school in their statement, saying that staff did not contact them even when they knew that some students at the school were demanding money from their son. In addition, they touched on the report released by a third-party investigative committee set up by the Yokohama Municipal Board of Education, saying it was unfortunate that many parts explaining what kind of bullying took place were redacted even after they told the board that they wanted details to be made public.

Municipal education board superintendent Yuko Okada held a separate news conference on Nov. 15 and said, “We feel sorry that the school and the education board were unable to respond to the matter in a coordinated manner.” She added, “I was not under the impression that we were asked to reveal everything that was in the report.” The education board is set to interview relevant persons once again.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161116/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

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Probe ordered into Fukushima boy bullying

The mayor of Yokohama City has ordered its education board to look into why it failed to respond quickly to the bullying of a student who had evacuated due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

A third-party panel of the board determined that the boy was bullied after entering an elementary school in Yokohama. The panel said school staff and education authorities responded slowly to the problem.

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi told reporters on Wednesday that city officials failed to make good use of an anti-bullying law enacted after a spate of serious cases across the nation.

Hayashi also referred to a note in which the boy said he thought of suicide many times.
She said she sensed his pain from the note and was heartbroken over his experience.

Hayashi said she wonders why the school and the board failed to help him much earlier.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161116_26/

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

‘Forgery’ suit filed against minister

TRUTHFUL? The Green Consumers’ Foundation claims that a Ministry of Health and Welfare report on Japanese food imports contains false and inaccurate information

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Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang, right, presses the doorbell of the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday to file a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien following the release of a ministry report on food imports from Japan.

Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office accusing the minister of “forgery,” claiming that the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used false data in its report on easing restrictions on Japanese food imports from the five prefectures closest to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

Fang said that the government’s report provided at the weekend at public hearings on lifting the ban on imports of Japanese food items from the five prefectures contained false data that could mislead the public.

He said the report claims that “only China and Taiwan still impose a total ban on food imports from the five prefectures closest to Fukushima [Dai-ichi],” but the US FDA had issued an alert last month stating that the coast guard “may detain, without physical examination,” certain specified products from firms in 14 prefectures near Fukushima Dai-ichi.

The report also claims that “the standard [for acceptable radiation levels in food] in Taiwan is the same as other nations,” but Taiwan has looser standards than many nations, he added.

He said the government in January established 100 becquerel per kilogram (Bq/kg) as the standard radiation limit for food, but another 100Bq/kg was set as the standard radiation limit for iodine-131, meaning the total limit is 200Bq/kg.

Is the Ministry of Health and Welfare protecting the public’s health or is it protecting radiation-contaminated food and feeding it to us?” Fan asked, urging the government to provide truthful data to the public.

In response, FDA Deputy Director Lin Ching-fu (林金富) said the ministry regrets that Fan has misread its data and that the ministry had not forged any data, adding that Fan, having filed a lawsuit, should be held to the equivalent legal liability.

FDA Division of Food Safety official Cheng Wei-chih (鄭維智) said safety standard for general food items is 100Bq/kg for “iodine-131” and 100Bq/kg for “cesium-134 and cesium-137,” and that the radioisotopes are examined separately.
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/11/15/2003659308

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Work Starts in Fukushima on Intermediate Waste Facility

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The planned site for an intermediate storage facility of radiation-contaminated waste spans the towns of Futaba and Okuma and surround the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

The Environment Ministry on Nov. 15 started building a facility in Fukushima Prefecture that will store radiation-contaminated debris for up to 30 years, despite obtaining permission for only 11 percent of the site.

The 16-square-kilometer storage facility is expected to hold up to 22 million cubic meters of materials contaminated by radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

I hope that you take pride in this project and cooperate to construct the facility,” Tadahiko Ito, a vice environment minister, told workers.

The facility, which will span the towns of Futaba and Okuma, is expected to start accepting, sorting and storing the debris in autumn 2017 at the earliest, more than two-and-a-half years later than the initial schedule of January 2015.

The project has been delayed because the ministry has faced difficulties buying or borrowing land for the project.

In fact, only 445 of the 2,360 landowners of plots at the site have agreed to sell or lend their properties to the ministry for the storage facility as of the end of October.

Many of the reluctant landowners, who possess 89 percent of the land, fear the contaminated waste will remain at the facility well beyond 30 years.

The government has worked out a bill stipulating that contaminated materials kept in the intermediate storage facility will be moved out of Fukushima Prefecture in 2045. However, the government has yet to decide on the location of the final disposal site.

A huge cleanup operation after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant collected tons of radioactive soil and debris.

In March 2015, the ministry borrowed land and created a “temporary storage place” within a 16-square-km site on an experimental basis.

However, only about 70,000 cubic meters of the waste has been taken to the temporary storage site as of the end of October. The remaining waste, exceeding 10 million cubic meters, is being tentatively stored at about 150,000 locations in the prefecture.

If the transportation of contaminated materials to the intermediate storage facility proceeds, the waste currently stored in residential areas and at company compounds will be transported there,” said an official of the Fukushima prefectural government’s section in charge of decontamination.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611150040.html

Work begins on Fukushima nuclear waste site

Construction work has begun in Fukushima Prefecture on intermediate storage facilities for contaminated soil and waste materials from the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in the towns of Futaba and Okuma on Tuesday.

Two facilities will be built in a 16-square-kilometer area that straddles in the towns. One will be used to sort nuclear waste by size and level of contamination, and the other will store the sorted soil.

State Minister for the Environment Tadahiko Ito encouraged workers, saying they should be proud to be working for the region’s revival.

In the first day of work on Tuesday, workers removed contaminated soil from the surface of the site. Full-fledged construction work is to begin in January.

Waste from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and soil that has been removed in decontamination operations will be stored at the intermediate storage site before it is ultimately disposed of.

The contaminated soil and waste have been kept at temporary sites throughout Fukushima Prefecture longer than the 3 years the government had initially promised local communities. This is because construction of the intermediate storage site was delayed due to a lack of progress in acquiring the land.

The Environment Ministry plans to begin operating the intermediate storage facilities in about a year. It plans to enlarge the site after acquiring more land.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161115_26/

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

World anxiety on Donald Trump – his personality flaws, ignorance, unpredictability, impetuosity

trump-worldPresident Donald Trump: The World Turned Upside Down? Huffington Post 

Alistair Burnett Writer on Global Affairs 14/11/2016 Did American voters just turn the world upside down?

With international affairs pundits saying Donald Trump in the White House means the end of the West as we know it, some certainly believe they did – although many of these obituaries exaggerate US fealty to the rules-based system created after 1945.

It’s not just what he said on the stump about economic, diplomatic and military relations with the rest of the world his critics have in mind; it’s his character.

 Trump has displayed personality flaws beyond the dreams of avarice, which, in a politics-as-normal world, would mean he’d be unfit to occupy any political office, let alone the Oval one.

Then there is his impetuosity and lack of experience that introduce a whole new element of uncertainty into world affairs.

If this weren’t bad enough, Trump appears ignorant of the details of key treaties and international law and his track record doesn’t suggest he’s good at taking advice. Some who opposed his election are seeking solace in the fact Trump often says things that are untrue – whether he knows they are or not – so there’s a hope he didn’t mean all the things he said he would do during the campaign.

Others say he will appoint people who do know what they’re doing, but with names like John Bolton being floated for Secretary of State that’s very much open to question.

Still others are making the point that his policies are largely unformed, or at least unarticulated, and argue he will be constrained by Republicans in Congress who don’t agree with him.

For all the caveats, one thing is clear – the Trump wild card means the world is set for even more instability than we’ve seen in recent years……

First and foremost attempts to prevent catastrophic climate change are facing a huge setback.

Trump has been explicit on this. He has played to the deniers and conspiracy theorists saying climate change is a Chinese hoax aimed at undermining the US economy and, whether he really believes this or not, he’s committed to renouncing the Paris Climate Agreement.

With the Republicans retaining control of Congress and the certainty he will appoint at least one new Supreme Court justice, he will try to reverse the limited action President Obama has managed to take in the US itself.

There is a chance individual American states and cities will continue to take progressive measures, but if the US abandons international agreements and goes back on action it has already taken, will the other major emitters like China and India stick to their commitments? Maybe the Chinese would, but I doubt India will.

The first major decision Trump will have to make, though, is how to pursue the campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The incoming president has been very critical of what he sees as a lack of aggression by the US military and promised to intensify air strikes – which would inevitably lead to more civilian casualties.

He also said he would commit more American ground troops to the fight.

This would likely result in the conflict between the West and violent jihadism dragging on even longer, with all the implications that has for the stability of Muslim countries, relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and the prospect of ending jihadi terrorism around the world…….

despite his bombastic rhetoric about making America great again, Trump’s presidency could well see the strain in relations with Russia ease. We could even see the two nations cooperating in the campaign against ISIS in Syria

We are yet to see how Trump and Putin will really get on, and it may not all be sweetness and light.

If Trump follows through on what he’s said about modernising America’s nuclear arsenal, this would antagonise Russia given the importance it attaches to its nuclear arsenal as the guarantee of its security and great power status.

This would also matter because, despite the fact there is less overt concern about the prospect of nuclear war since the end of the Cold War, some strategic commentators and elder statesmen think there is a greater risk of a nuclear conflict now than in the past……..

 While a Clinton presidency would have probably seen a further deterioration in relations, Trump’s approach to China poses a much greater risk to global stability.

Unlike Russia, for Donald Trump, China is a direct threat to American national interests.

If he sticks to what he’s proposed during the campaign – an even greater military build-up around Chinese waters and retaliation for alleged unfair trade practices – we are headed for a major escalation in tension.

And with the unpredictable and untested Trump as commander-in-chief and a Chinese leadership which has built its political legitimacy on the back of making China stand tall again in the world, the risk that an accidental clash in the South China Sea could blow up into a major conflagration is much greater……..

What the world really needs now is a true acceptance in Washington of how the global balance of power is changing and the need to engage with other countries on a genuinely equal and respectful basis – this is a necessary, if not sufficient, condition to restoring some sort of order to global affairs.

But, Donald Trump, who may prove to be the most unprepared, uninformed president ever to enter office, shows no sign of having applied much thought to such questions and is inclined to shoot from the hip.

Despite some conciliatory language since his victory, the rest of us can only hope he’d only be shooting metaphorically. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alistair-burnett/president-donald-trump-th_b_12911788.html

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November 16, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Global action on climate change is unstoppable, despite Mr Trump – says Ban Ki-moon

poster-climate-FranceDonald Trump’s stance on climate change will not halt ‘unstoppable’ global action, Ban Ki-moon says, ABC News,  UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says action on climate change has become “unstoppable”, as he expressed hopes US President-elect Donald Trump would drop plans to quit a global accord aimed at weaning the world off fossil fuels.

Key points:

  • Mr Ban says he hopes Mr Trump will “evaluate” his position on climate change
  • Mr Trump has previously said he will withdraw US from Paris Agreement
  • Mr Ban says market forces are already pushing the world economy towards cleaner energies

At a meeting of almost 200 nations in Morocco to work out ways to implement the 2015 Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Ban said US companies, states and cities were all pushing to limit global warming.

“What was once unthinkable has become unstoppable,” he told a news conference of the Paris Agreement, agreed by governments last year, ratified in record time and formally adopted by more than 100 nations including the United States……Mr Ban, who will step down at the end of the year after a decade in charge of the United Nations, has made action on climate change a core issue of his time in office. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-15/trump-wont-stop-climate-change-action-un-ban-ki-moon-hopes/8028300

November 16, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Should New York’s electricity customers be bailing out the uneconomic nuclear industry?

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Should electric customers pay for NYS nuclear plants? WBFO88.7,  , 15 Nov 16, The battle is heating up over a statewide electric rate increase to subsidize upstate nuclear power plants that pits Governor Andrew Cuomo against a coalition of “good-government groups.”

Members and leaders of the statewide campaign to “Stop the Cuomo Tax” and end the bailout of nuclear power in New York have made their intentions clear: they are calling on the governor to release alleged “secretive agreements with nuclear companies.”

Blair Horner with the New York Public Interest Research Group said the governor is proposing to keep three upstate nuclear power plants near Rochester and Oswego open for the next dozen years, using $7.6 billion of ratepayer money to make it happen.

The issue is part of the Public Service Commission’s broader Clean Energy Standard. The final installment on putting that deal together occurs in a vote before the Public Service Commission scheduled for Thursday.

“There is certainly an irony in the fact that the governor is hell-bent on closing the Indian Point nuclear power plant outside of the city of New York and yet providing billions and billions of dollars in subsidies for aging upstate ones,” said Horner. “The plants that he’s bailing out are ones that were ready for the scrap heap. They’d already outlasted their anticipated lifespan as power plants.”

He continued that this could be the single biggest transfer of wealth from ratepayers to companies in New York state history.

“The decision on this was conducted largely outside of public view. The public had, at best, only dim awareness that this was happening,” Horner said. “The governor’s ramming through a basically secretive decision that’s going to cost New Yorkers billions and billions of dollars and, for the 800,000 poorest New Yorkers, they’re gonna take a big, big hit.”

Horner said most of those 800,000 are in arrears and 20,000 have already had their service cut off.

“The governor’s proposed bailout of these nuke power plants will just jack up the price even harder for these struggling New Yorkers and it’s not even that it’s a great investment,” Horner said. “This is just to keep old Vietnam War-era nuke power plants running.”

Horner said there has been no public debate if this is a good idea……. http://news.wbfo.org/post/should-electric-customers-pay-nys-nuclear-plants

November 16, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | 1 Comment

The Trump temper could bring about nuclear war between USA and Russia

Nuclear War with Russia Possible Scenario with Donald Trump’s Temper [RUMOR] http://www.citizenoracle.com/2016/11/14/nuclear-war-russia-possible-scenario-donald-trumps-temper-rumor/ The possibility of a nuclear war with Russia could start anytime soon if the newly-elected U.S. President, Donald Trump, will not keep his cool. It was also said that Trump must avoid letting his short temper make its way into global affairs. Because of this news, some people feared that the U.S. may face a nuclear war with Russia, something that might cause “global destruction.”

November 16, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | 1 Comment

Donald Trump’s lying tweets

liarDonald Trump wrongly tweets that he ‘never said’ more countries should have nuclear weapons POLITIFACT, By Lauren Carroll  Two days after telling CBS that he planned to be “very restrained” on social media going forward, President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at the New York Times on Twitter.

“Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena,’” Trump tweeted Nov. 13.

The New York Times communications team responded to say the news organization actually had a surge in digital and print subscriptions after the election.

He also tweeted, wrongly, “The @nytimes sent a letter to their subscribers apologizing for their BAD coverage of me. I wonder if it will change – doubt it?”

He’s referring to a Nov. 13 letter from the news organization’s editor and publisher, in which they thank readers for their loyalty and admit that they underestimated support for Trump. The letter does not include an apology.

Lastly, Trump wrote, “The @nytimes states today that DJT believes ‘more countries should acquire nuclear weapons.’ How dishonest are they. I never said this!”

Here are some of Trump’s key comments about whether more countries should have nuclear weapons……….

Trump accused the New York Times of mispresenting his belief, but the newspaper did not. The reporter portrayed his comments on arming other countries with nuclear weapons as something Trump “has suggested” to further U.S. security interests.

Trump has said he is opposed to nuclear proliferation while also repeatedly saying some countries, namely Japan and South Korea, might be “better off” if they were to develop nuclear weapons, given their proximity to North Korea. He even made such comments to the New York Times.

We rate Trump’s statement False. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/nov/14/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrongly-tweets-he-never-said-more-cou/

November 16, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

South Africa’s renewable energy boom attacked by nuclear Eskom

Windmills or Reactor Cores? Inside South Africa’s Energy Clash, NYT NOV. 13, 2016 UPINGTON, South Africa — In one of the most sun-drenched corners of the planet, a 670-foot tower rises above a desert dotted with 4,160 mirrors. Tracking the sun throughout the day, the mirrors, called heliostats, redirect the sun’s rays into the tower, where water is heated to generate steam — and electricity.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear regulator further weakens safety rules enforcement

Japan regulator OKs another nuclear reactor to run beyond 40-yr limit, Mainichi,  TOKYO (Kyodo), 15 Nov 16  — Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gave approval Wednesday for a third reactor to operate beyond the mandated 40-year maximum lifespan, signaling a further weakening in enforcement of the limit introduced after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The No. 3 unit at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture is the latest reactor allowed to continue in service beyond the limit following two such units at the utility’s Takahama complex, also in Fukui.

The Mihama No. 3 unit, which began commercial operation in December 1976, went offline in May 2011 for a regular checkup and has not been restarted, undergoing inspections to meet tougher safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima disaster.

Kansai Electric plans to spend about 165 billion yen ($1.5 billion) to upgrade the facilities at the reactor with a capacity of 826,000 kilowatts to meet the new regulations, which reflect the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster……..

ニュースサイトで読む: http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161116/p2g/00m/0dm/047000c#csidxb563f34546d48c0a1d99f038e34023d 

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

America’s nuclear industry lobby seeks cuts to its liability responsibilities in the event of an accident

USA nuclear lobbyNEI requests DOE minimize US supplier burden for liability risk pool https://dailyenergyinsider.com/featured/2253-nei-requests-doe-minimize-us-supplier-burden-liability-risk-pool/ November 15, 2016 Daily Energy Insider Reports The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) recently requested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provide U.S. nuclear energy suppliers with more certainty regarding their liabilities in a nuclear incident to allow them to better develop a contingency plan. The department is collecting data in developing a liability risk pool for an international treaty on compensating those affected by a nuclear incident.

The Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) was adopted in 1997 and entered into force last year. The CSC establishes a two-tiered approach for compensating victims in the event of a nuclear incident. The first tier is paid by the country in which the incident takes place and is set at a minimum of 300 million “special drawing rights,” a unique form of international money developed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) based on a weighted average of convertible currencies.

If the first tier is insufficient, the second tier is funded by the CSC signatories.

NEI calculated that the United States would contribute approximately $64.5 million per covered incident if the current parties to the CSC are Argentina, India, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

NEI said that since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that U.S. nuclear suppliers reimburse the federal government for any costs it incurs in contributing to the second tier of liability, the CSC would create an undue burden on U.S.-based nuclear suppliers.

The institute also requested that the DOE ensure that the final rule is not overly burdensome from an administrative, record keeping or implementation standpoint.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Campaign by India’s People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) to alert young people

Signature campaign against nuclear energy  http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/signature-campaign-against-nuclear-energy/article9342726.ece  C. JAISANKAR, 15 Nov 16 The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) on Sunday called upon the youngsters to speak up against nuclear energy.

Speaking at an awareness programme after launching the signature campaign against nuclear energy here, Suba. Udayakumar, PMANE coordinator, said that several countries including the United States, France and Japan had given up the policy of installing new nuclear plants several years ago following Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.

They had realised the dangers of nuclear plants to humans and environment.

However, the Central government was continuing to promote nuclear energy. It has planned to set up more nuclear plants at Kudankulam without addressing the apprehensions of people. It showed that the government was not bothered to listen to the genuine grievances of people, he said.

Sundarrajan, coordinator, Poovulagin Nanbargal, said that the government had not come out with a proper plan to dispose the waste being generated from nuclear plants. It was high time to create awareness among the people on the ill effects of nuclear plants. The people, particularly youngsters, should come forward to join the movement against nuclear energy, he added.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment