nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear is No Solution to Climate Change

 

The Fairewinds Crew created this special 2-minute animation to show you why building new nukes is a lost opportunity for humankind with precious time and money wasted on the wrong choice. At least $8.2 Trillion would be needed to build the 1,000 atomic reactors the nuclear industry wants – that’s 1 reactor every 12-days for 35-years. Watch the animation to see what it means and why!

If you want more information, we have issued a paper, and presented this topic at several major universities and forums , and wanted to make it more accessible to people throughout the world. Truthout published Arnie Gundersen’s summation of this project in a news analysis entitled: Nuclear Power Is Not “Green Energy”: It Is a Fount of Atomic Waste.

http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//smokescreen

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November 19, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

Fuel Removal from Fukushima Reactor 3 Likely to Be Put Off Again

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Tokyo, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. <9501> is expected to face a further delay in the start of work to remove fuel from the storage pool at the No. 3 reactor of its disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, it was learned Friday.
It now appears difficult to begin the work in January 2018, as currently targeted by the company, the sources said. The expected postponement is due to a delay in preparations necessary for the removal work.
All six reactors at the power station in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, are set to be decommissioned, after the plant was knocked out by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Three of the six reactors suffered core meltdowns in the accident.
The fuel removal from the No. 3 reactor pool was initially planned to begin during April-September 2015.
The No. 3 reactor building was heavily damaged by a hydrogen explosion soon after the March 11 disaster. As part of the preparations, TEPCO plans to install a cover and relevant equipment at the reactor.

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016111800715

 

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan Continued Protest Against Food Imports from Japan

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Hundreds protest Fukushima imports

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Hundreds on Thursday called for the president and premier to resign, accusing the ruling party of “selling out Taiwan” and “poisoning our children” in its push to ease a ban on food imports from Japan’s radiation-affected regions.

Protesters organized by the Kuomintang (KMT) demonstrated in front of the Executive Yuan early Thursday, as party councilors from across the country took turns addressing the crowd.

“We are humans, and humans don’t eat radiation-contaminated food,” the crowd chanted with Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介), who accused that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of betraying its promise to safeguard Taiwan’s food safety.

“We all remember clearly which party strongly protested against nuclear power in the past, but who’s about to feed poisonous food to our children now!” Hsieh said.

Taipei City Councilor Wang Hsin-yi (王欣儀) said the protest was not about political issues but was instead “a matter of life and death.”

Taipei City Councilor Ying Hsiao-wei (應曉薇) introduced a 3-year-old girl carried by an elderly woman, and urged the crowd to “fight the government to defend public health.”

Clash with Police

Hsieh asked police officers to “give way” to protesters so they could enter the Executive Yuan and submit their petition to the premier.

When the police stood their ground, demonstrators attempted to storm the grounds.

The clash ended after Hsu Fu (許輔), director of the Cabinet’s food safety office, stepped outside the Executive Yuan to receive the protesters’ petition and then invited KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) and Chen Yi-ming (陳宜民) into the building for talks.

‘No contaminated food’

“No radiation-contaminated food products will be allowed into the nation,” according to a Cabinet press statement released Friday afternoon.

The Cabinet stated that it would take protesters’ concerns into account and reinstate its “four-noes policy” on Japanese food imports.

It said all products from the Fukushima Prefecture would continue to be prohibited from entering Taiwan’s borders.

Food products from Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Chiba — four of the five prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster — that are at high risk of absorbing radiation would also remain banned.

Those with a lower risk of radiation contamination would also stay banned if they did not have a certificate confirming state of origin and radiation levels.

Food products still banned by the U.S. and the Japanese government would also remain banned from Taiwan.

An earthquake and tsunami had triggered meltdowns of nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011.

Dozens of countries worldwide imposed sanctions or tightened restrictions on food imports produced in the regions around Fukushima Prefecture.

Starting 2015, the European Union and the U.S. gradually lifted the bans as Tokyo continued to urge the move on grounds of fair international trade.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2016/11/19/484392/Hundreds-protest.htm

Government communication on Japanese food is a failure: Luis Ko

The issue of allowing the import of food products from parts of Japan affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has triggered a spate of conflicts and quarrels in Taiwan. Apart from opposition parties and social groups including physicians, even Democratic Progressive Party city mayors and county magistrates have been sending out mixed signals. The uproar has even made the model student in the matter of food safety, I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko, shake his head. On November 19, he wrote on his Facebook page that the government should plan first and move later, and not create needless public dissatisfaction and unease.

Because several countries recently gradually lifted import restrictions on products from the disaster-stricken areas, Taiwan could soon follow suit and allow the import of some products from Fukushima prefecture and from four other prefectures (Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba). The government organized public hearings on the matter which were criticized as haphazard. Earlier this week, 15 county and city chiefs from ruling and opposition parties voiced their opposition and said they did not agree with the import of the food. However, after the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan contacted the 13 DPP mayors and magistrates, they altered their stance and said they agreed with the central government, saying that what they opposed was food imported from Fukushima prefecture.

On November 19, I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko wrote on his Facebook page that he felt surprise and concern at the government’s current handling of its food safety policy. He wondered why the government departments and officials in charge of agricultural produce and foodstuffs were the ones to stand at the forefront of the discussions with the public, and why the officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare and at the Food and Drug Administration, who have usually made brave statements about food safety issues, only played a “supporting role.” He said the government had failed in its internal communication and integration. “Major problems have arisen with the functioning of the government team!”

Luis Ko also says the fact that the new government has failed to successfully execute several policies over the past six months as a result of insufficient internal “communication and integration” and of being unable to “plan first and move later.” He concluded by calling on the president and the premier to bear in mind the profound hopes of the people and to show the ability to reflect.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3033853

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | 1 Comment

13 Fukushima High School Students Visited Fukushima Daiichi

Propaganda to downplay the chaos & the effects of the disaster goes on at full throttle. Is it happening because Japanese are so recklessly brave and immune to radiation? Are school teachers and TEPCO officials sane enough? How could a university professor take them around at the damaged NPP without be concerned about the effect of radiation on young people?

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Fukushima students see crippled nuclear plant firsthand

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–It was no ordinary outing for the 13 students from Fukushima High School.

The teenagers toured the site of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant by bus on Nov. 18 to get a firsthand look at work to decommission the reactors following the triple meltdown in 2011.

It was the first tour by youngsters since the disaster as plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. had deemed the radiation risk was too high.

Through bus windows, the students observed the damaged reactor buildings, rows of storage tanks holding contaminated water and other facilities on the sprawling nuclear complex.

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The tour made me realize that we should arm ourselves with accurate information if we want to change people’s perceptions of Fukushima as a scary place,” said Keika Kobiyama, a first-year student in the group. “For starters, I want to tell my fellow high school students ‘We went to the plant to see for ourselves what was going on there.’”

TEPCO had previously refused to allow tours by those under the age of 18.

But the company gave the green light to this request as an exception on grounds that radiation levels had dropped significantly.

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The students were each given a dosimeter as they boarded the bus for the two-hour tour. The trip was held after their parents agreed to the visit.

The students themselves had been releasing updates on the disaster for Japanese and foreign audiences by monitoring radiation levels in the prefecture and studying the decommissioning process.

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http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611190023.html

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

World Baseball Chief Plays Down Fukushima Olympic Fears

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The president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Ricardo Fraccari at press conference in Tokyo on Friday.

World baseball chief plays down Fukushima Olympic fears

The president of world baseball’s governing body on Friday played down fears that the sport’s top stars will refuse to play in Fukushima if the nuclear disaster-hit prefecture hosts games at the 2020 Olympics.

Olympic chiefs are currently considering a proposal to play part of the Tokyo 2020 baseball and softball competition in Fukushima Prefecture, which in 2011 suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years when the Great East Japan Earthquake triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The prefecture successfully hosted games at the Under-15 Baseball World Cup in the city of Iwaki this summer, and World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari believes senior teams will not be deterred from playing there in 2020 should its bid to host games be accepted.

This can be an issue, but from the data I received, the situation at this moment is not dangerous in Fukushima,” said Fraccari, who held talks with Tokyo 2020 organizers in Tokyo on Friday and will visit the prefecture on Saturday to inspect potential venues.

Even at the last Under-15 World Cup, only one country refused to come. But the rest were there. In three years — just now the situation is good, so I think from this point there won’t be any problem for countries to come to Fukushima.”

Fraccari must give his consent to the prefecture’s bid before it can be put before the International Olympic Committee, which will make a final decision when it holds its executive board meeting from Dec. 6 to 8.

Three venues in the prefecture are under consideration — Iwaki Green Stadium in Iwaki, Azuma Baseball Stadium of the city of Fukushima and Koriyama Kaiseizan Baseball Stadium in Koriyama.

From the perspective of the WBSC, I know the importance of baseball and softball in Japan, and I know how we can facilitate the recovery from the disaster,” said Italian Fraccari. “If the field in Fukushima has all the requirements, we can take it into consideration and analyze internally the possibility.

But I repeat, we have to check many things because we have to see how it’s possible to include it in the schedule, the distance, the fields. There are many issues and we won’t take any decision yet.”

Baseball and softball were voted onto the 2020 program as a joint bid after an absence of 12 years 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.

Nippon Professional Baseball has agreed to suspend play for the duration of the July 24 to Aug. 9 Tokyo Olympics, but Major League Baseball has yet to say whether it will cooperate.

There is, even from the major leagues, a desire to be more international,” said Fraccari. “Now we are discussing, but before we discuss we need to have the details of the tournament, the details of the schedule. I think that we can find a solution to have the best games possible.”

Fraccari also played down suggestions that pressure to agree to Fukushima’s proposal, which was floated by IOC President Thomas Bach during a visit to Tokyo last month, will affect his decision.

I used to be an umpire, so I know what it means to be under pressure,” he said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/18/national/world-baseball-chief-plays-fukushima-olympic-fears/#.WC_RY7RBChA

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Olympics: No decision yet as world baseball-softball chief inspects Fukushima

World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari stopped short of issuing a verdict after inspecting Fukushima Prefecture as a potential host site of the 2020 Olympic baseball and softball competitions Saturday.

Fraccari scouted Azuma Stadium in Fukushima City and Koriyama’s Kaiseizan Stadium but insisted the purpose of his visit this time was to gather intelligence and not to reach a decision of any kind. The third city being considered is Iwaki, whose Green Stadium Fraccari has already visited.

“At the moment, I’m just collecting information of the stadiums,” said Fraccari, who met Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori ahead of his stadium tours.

“The problem for Fukushima is not just the stadium. We have to check about the transportation, the facility for the teams and the schedule.”

The 2020 organizing committee is looking to open the baseball and softball tournaments in the prefecture, with Japan set to play in the first game of both competitions.

Fraccari did not mention a deadline on when the competition format and the overall schedule would be made, but did say all the stakeholders would have to work fast, with the organizing committee aiming to finalize details at the Dec. 6-8 executive board meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

“Yesterday, it was a good meeting with Tokyo 2020,” he said. “We work very close with them, we cooperate a lot because both of us have the best interests in the Games in 2020.”

“We have to work very fast because we don’t have too much time. We don’t yet have a fixed deadline, for sure but we have to work very, very soon towards the entire Games (plan).”

Uchibori reiterated Fukushima’s willingness to stage the two sports.

“We want to express our strong desire to organize the events in Fukushima Prefecture,” Uchibori said to Fraccari in his native Italian.

“It will help unite the people of Fukushima, and help unite the prefecture and the world. They’re fantastic sports.”

Uchibori reassured Fraccari that the radiation levels in Fukushima, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and the nuclear power plant crisis that followed, are no different to that of major cities around the world.

“In almost all areas in the prefecture, the figures are the same as any of the world’s major cities,” Uchibori said.

http://kyodonews.net/news/2016/11/19/89076

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

School failed to act on extortion of Fukushima evacuee bullied at school

 

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YOKOHAMA — Education authorities failed to react to financial and emotional damage incurred by a boy who was bullied at his school here after evacuating from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it has been learned.

The boy, who is now 13, was bullied at an elementary school in Yokohama after he transferred there from Fukushima Prefecture. Although the school and the Yokohama Municipal Board of Education were aware that the boy was forced to pay about 1.5 million yen to his classmates, they failed to respond proactively to the case. His parents had conveyed the amount to the school and education board after being informed of it by Kanagawa Prefectural Police.

According to attorneys for the student and other sources, the parents consulted with prefectural police in July 2014 about their son’s classmates demanding money from him. After checking the footage of security cameras at a video arcade, prefectural police found that at least one of the bullies had squandered hundreds of thousands of yen of boy’s money each time.

The money that the victim was forced to pay was spent on travel, dining and entertainment. The student was initially demanded to pay around 50,000 yen at a time, but the sum eventually snowballed.

The bully extorted the victim, saying, “You’ve got compensation money (for the nuclear disaster), don’t you?” The victim could not confide the incidents to his parents and secretly paid the bullies using his family’s money budgeted for living expenses.

The victim stopped attending school for a second time in June 2014, and his parents reported the prefectural police’s investigation results to his school and the city education board. However, the school didn’t deem the case a “serious situation” under the law to promote measure to prevent bullying, and shelved it.

At a Nov. 15 press conference, the city education board admitted that there was money trouble between the students. Superintendent of schools Yuko Okada said, “We should have recognized the case as serious as more than one month had passed since the student stopped attending school and the money and goods issues surfaced.”

A third-party panel to the city education board criticized the school and the education board, saying, “There are no traces of their having given sufficient instructions to the parties who ‘paid’ and ‘were paid for,’ though (the education authorities) were aware of the exchange of monies in the tens of thousands of yen.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161118/p2a/00m/0na/018000c

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 1 Comment

Constant Taiwanese Opposition to Japan Contaminated Food Imports

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Keelung city council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face

Keelung councilwoman paints face like zombie to protest ‘radioactive’ Japanese food Wearing makeup to appear like a zombie covered in radiation burns, Keelung councilwoman protests lifting of ban on imported Japanese food

At a city council budget review meeting in Keelung City on Thursday, council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face to dramatize her concerns about the proposal to allow the import of food from radiation-affected areas of Japan.

Lu claimed if she ate radioactive food products for three months, her skin would start to look like the zombie makeup on her face and her bone marrow would contain large amounts of radiation, with no way to expel it from her body.  She also questioned the health bureau for not having plans on educating the public about protecting themselves from this danger.

Lu said just thinking about a nuclear disaster makes her loose sleep at night, “I’m really afraid, just thinking about it makes me tremble, this isn’t serious?”

A group of 19 Keelung City Council members from across the political spectrum held a press conference at noon. Lead by Council Speaker Sung Wei-li (宋瑋莉), the councilors shouted “don’t eat or buy” and “no nukes, protect Taiwan.” Meanwhile 20 members of the council signed a joint statement asking Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) to “add a ban on the importation of foods from radiation-affected prefectures of Japan to The Keelung City Food Safety Regulations.”

Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 suffered meltdowns after sustaining damage from a magnitute 9.0 earthquake and flooding by a subsequent 13-to-15-meter tsunami. Four of the plant’s six reactors released radiation into the atmosphere and ocean, prompting many countries around the world, including Taiwan, to ban imports of food products from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, for fear of radioactive contamination. 

Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from four prefectures, and though Fukushima has been excluded from this list, the measure is still facing stiff opposition with protesters paralyzing 10 public hearings held by the Cabinet over the weekend on the issue. 

The Cabinet is mulling a gradual lifting of the ban in two phases. The first phase would keep the ban on Fukushima, while lifting the ban on Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures on the condition of batch-by-batch inspection and the exclusion of high-risk products, such as baby milk powder, drinking water, and tea products. A yet-to-be-announced second phase could take place six months later. 

An analysis by Colorado State University showed that after taking 900,000 samples of food produced in Fukushima over the course of three years, found that radiation levels in the vast majority of the samples were below Japan’s limits, the strictest in the world. As for the safety seafood, a study released by the National Academy of Sciences in February 2016 said “the overall contamination risk for aquatic food items is very low” and has steadily decreased since the reactor meltdowns in 2011. 

Many Japanese organizations have been pressing President Tsai Ying-wen to lift the ban on food products since she took office in May. Taiwan and China are reportedly the only countries still banning food from the five Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3032954

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan Public Hearing on Fukushima Imports Ends in Clashes

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Cancer patient compensated for Fukushima work to sue TEPCO

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Damage from an explosion remains at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 4 reactor building in March 2013.

A 42-year-old man diagnosed with leukemia after working at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant plans to sue Tokyo Electric Power Co., saying the utility failed to take adequate precautions against radiation exposure.

He will also sue Kyushu Electric Power Co., operator of the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture where he had also worked, in the lawsuit expected to be filed at the Tokyo District Court on Nov. 22.

The man, who is from Kita-Kyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture, will demand about 59 million yen ($541,000) in total compensation from the two utilities.

TEPCO and Kyushu Electric, as the managers of the facilities, are responsible for the health of workers there, but they failed to take adequate measures to protect them from radiation exposure,” said one of the lawyers representing him.

The man was forced to undergo unnecessary radiation exposure because of the utilities’ slipshod on-site radiation management, and as a result had to face danger to his life and fear of death,” the lawyer said.

The lawyers group said the man has a strong case, citing a ruling by labor authorities in October 2015 that recognized a correlation between his leukemia and his work in response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

It was the first time cancer was ruled work-related among people who developed the disease after working at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The planned lawsuit will be the first legal action against TEPCO brought by an individual whose work-related compensation claim has already been granted.

Between October 2011 and December 2013, the man worked at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to set up a cover on the damaged No. 4 reactor building and perform other tasks.

The man also did regular maintenance jobs at the Genkai plant.

His accumulative radiation exposure at the two plants came to about 20 millisieverts.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611180052.html

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November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘ghost town’ uses dummies to fill sad post-3/11 void

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Completed dummies sit while women make another in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on Nov. 14.

 

NARAHA, Fukushima Prefecture–Ghosts of the past are all around in this Fukushima town whose communities were decimated in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Less than one-tenth of Naraha’s residents have come home since its evacuation order was lifted, but some who did return have devised a creative solution to the population problem.

Locals have formed a group to make dummies to place them around the town in lieu of the many human inhabitants who have been absent since the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster of March 2011.

The results are poignant.

All residents of Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, were ordered to evacuate the area following the triple meltdown, and were given the green light to return in September 2015.

However, only 718 residents–less than 10 percent of the town’s total population–had returned to their homes as of Nov. 4 this year.

Missing their friends and neighbors, some of the returned residents started the dummy project in June this year.

Currently, five women are making mannequins, including members of local voluntary group, Nanikashitai (“I want to do something”), which numbers about 30 members.

The women gather once a month at a former elementary school building to assemble cotton-stuffed heads, wooden frames, and arms and legs made from rolled newspapers. Then, they choose outfits and dress them.

The “ages” of the figures range from two to 85, according to the women.

So far, the women have completed 28 dummies, of which more than 10 occupy seven locations, including a financial institution and a day-care facility. When they showed them at an event in the town, they had visitors name them, and they even registered them as town residents.

We hope that the dummies will bring a smile to the faces of those who see them,” said Kaneko Takahara, 68, one of the women.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611170053.html

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Pushing the Limit: Fukushima Fingerprint Isotope Found in Salmon from 2015

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Complete results from 2015 biotic monitoring. New results are larger icons with bold/italic labels.

For the first time, the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, cesium-134 (134Cs; half-life ~ 2 years), has been detected at an extremely low level in a Canadian salmon by the InFORM project. The single sockeye salmon that tested positive was sampled from Okanagan Lake in the summer of 2015, according to scientists from the Radiation Protection Bureau at Health Canada, in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and local First Nations.  The sample was one of a few (7 out of 156 total) individual fish that had trace levels of the longer lived  cesium-137 (137Cs) (30 yr half-life) that we reported on last winter. To determine if this trace 137Cs was from Fukushima or remnant from atmospheric weapons testing, InFORM reexamined these individual fish samples to see if extremely low levels of 134Cs may be present. The results of this extended analysis show that trace (0.07 Bq kg-1) levels of 134Cs were detected in one sample from Okanagan/Columbia River population. No 134Cs was detectable in the other samples. The observed levels remain well below the action level (1000 Bq kg-1) set by Health Canada guidelines

As we reported in the winter 2016 update, 7 individual fish (out of the 156 measured) from 2015 tested positive for low levels (<1 Bq kg-1) of cesium-137 (137Cs). With its ~30 year half-life, 137Cs is still present in the environment from 20th century atmospheric weapons testing and Chernobyl in addition to the Fukushima accident.  In contrast, no individual fish from the 2014 monitoring effort were found to contain detectable levels of 137Cs. This difference led the team at the Radiation Protection Bureau to conduct a more detailed investigation of some of those few positive samples to determine if 134Cs, the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, was present. Results from 5 of those 7 are now available and discussed below. The remaining two samples are still in processing.

To read more: https://fukushimainform.ca/2016/11/15/pushing-the-limit-fukushima-fingerprint-isotope-found-in-salmon-from-2015/

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Mayoral race kicks off in nuke plant host city of Kashiwazaki

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Masahiro Sakurai (left), a former Kashiwazaki city assemblyman, and Eiko Takeuchi, a former Kashiwazaki municipal government worker, kick off campaigning Sunday for a mayoral race set for Nov. 20.

Campaigning for the mayoral race in the city of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, kicked off  Sunday, with two candidates locking horns over whether to approve the restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.

Masahiro Sakurai, 54, a former Kashiwazaki city assemblyman, and Eiko Takeuchi, 47, a former Kashiwazaki municipal government worker, registered their candidacies in the Nov. 20 election to choose a successor to incumbent Mayor Hiroshi Aida, who decided not to see a fourth term.

Sakurai said he would approve the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s nuclear plant if assured of Kashiwazaki citizens’ safety.

Takeuchi, backed by the opposition Democratic Party and Japanese Communist Party, however, has said she would demand that the plant, which straddles Kashiwazaki and the village of Kariwa, be left offline.

Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama, who is reluctant to allow the plant to resume operations, won the gubernatorial election last month.

Mayoral race kicks off in nuke plant host city of Kashiwazaki

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

13 cities, counties issue statement on food imports from Japan

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Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Thirteen cities and counties governed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) issued a joint statement on Wednesday to clarify their position on the potential lifting of restrictions on food imports from radiation-affected areas of Japan.

The statement said that both the central government and local governments controlled by the DPP have an uncompromising commitment to safeguard the health of the general public.

The signatories to the statement called for the introduction of stricter food safety standards than those in the European Union and the United States.

On the government’s plan to allow food imports from four radiation-affected prefectures the signatories insisted on four principles.

The first is that the ban on imports of food products from Fukushima remains in place.

Second, the ban on tea, water, baby formula and aquatic products from four prefectures – Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi – will not be lifted.

Third, no food products will be imported from these four prefectures without certificates of origin and radiation inspection documentation provided by the relevant authorities.

Fourth, the import ban will remain on food products not on sale in Japan and the United States.

At a regular DPP Central Standing Committee meeting later in the day, the heads of the 13 cities and counties said the position laid out in the joint statement is in line with that of the central government.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that food safety is the responsibility of the government and any changes in import controls on food products should only be introduced after full disclosure of relevant information and communication with the public.

When asked if local government heads had been mobilized to endorse government policy, Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) dismissed the suggestion, saying that local officials are more interested in the health and safety of their own citizens.

Taiwan has banned imports of food products from five prefectures in Japan that were contaminated with radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, which was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from the five prefectures, though not Fukushima, but has encountered heavy opposition.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May, different Japanese organizations have asked Taiwan to lift the ban on food products, according to domestic news reports.

http://m.focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201611160023.aspx

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Another week in climate and nuclear news

a-cat-CANThere’s an uncanny echo of the 1930s in the rise of extreme right wing politics in the Western world today. “I will make America great again” – says Donald Trump. And how many other strident voices are gathering mass support with a similar simplistic message, in other countries?

Donald Trump – the triumph of narcissism. Like the attention-seeking child in the classroom, with all eyes upon him, Trump captures the attention of the world, (this probably his main goal).  Some hope that, as USA President, his intelligent, gently spoken, kindly, side will prevail. Ralph Nader doubts this.

Meanwhile historic international meetings on climate change and on nuclear weapons ban are happening. Nearly winter at North Pole– but 36 degrees warmer than normal

Religious leaders from 44 countries present the the COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement.

Trans Pacific Partnership – just about ready for burial?.

EUROPE. Europe adopts new rules on disposal of nuclear waste.

JAPAN.  TEPCO to be sued by cancer victim, former Fukushima worker. Japan’s nuclear marketing disappointment: Vietnam to cancel reactor order. Another operation approval of aging nuclear reactor contradicts 40-year rule.  Anti-nuclear scientist group aims to boost influence amid growing defense research fears.

USA.

Climate:

Nuclear

IRAN. Iran arrests 12 members of nuclear negotiating team for espionage.

SWITZERLAND.Swiss can’t give away nuclear reactors, let alone sell them.

INDIA. India made no additional concessions to Japan in nuclear deal. Still-confusion over ‘termination’ clause.

AFRICA. Drought is destabilising Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s renewable energy boom attacked by nuclear Eskom

UK. Nuclear lobby getting a big boost from the British government.

AUSTRALIA. Push for a nuclear waste import industry defeated. South Australian Premier ‘s political career could be finished, over this issue.

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Liberals and mainstream conservatives complacent, while in politics, fascism rises

fascismNo, this isn’t the 1930s – but yes, this is fascism, The Conversation, ,Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford, November 16, 2016 

The spread of fascism in the 1920s was significantly aided by the fact that liberals and mainstream conservatives failed to take it seriously. Instead, they accommodated and normalised it.

The centre right is doing the same today. Brexit, Trump and the far right ascendant across Europe indicate that talk of a right-wing revolutionary moment is not exaggerated. And the French presidential election could be next on the calendar.

The shock felt by status-quo liberals and the anguish experienced on the left are matched only by the satisfaction of those on the extreme right that finally they are winning. The so-called “mature” liberal democracies have long managed to marginalise them. They have long seen themselves as vilified for speaking the common man’s unpalatable truths to out-of-touch elites. Now their champions are taking the political mainstream by storm.

And amid the disbelief, heartbreak, and protest, centre-right politicians and commentators seek to normalise and reassure. They dismiss “whingers” and “moaners”. They tell us to “get over it” and brush off talk of a new fascism as unfounded scaremongering…..

The point of comparison is not to suggest that we are living though the 1930s redux. It is to recognise the very strong family resemblance in ideas shared by the early 20th century far right and its mimics today……

Fascism brings a masculinist, xenophobic nationalism that claims to “put the people first” while turning them against one another. That is complemented by anti-cosmopolitanism and anti-intellectualism…….

This is a new fascism, or at least near-fascism, and the centre right is dangerously underestimating its potential, exactly as it did 80 years ago. Then, it was conservative anti-communists who believed they could tame and control the extremist fringe. Now, it is mainstream conservatives, facing little electoral challenge from a left in disarray…..

The risk, at least for the West, is not a new world war, but merely a poisoned public life, a democracy reduced to the tyranny of tiny majorities who find emotional satisfaction in a violent, resentful rhetoric while their narrowly-elected leaders strip away their rights and persecute their neighbours…   https://theconversation.com/no-this-isnt-the-1930s-but-yes-this-is-fascism-68867

November 19, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment