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November 29 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Want to know why Trump will struggle to save the coal industry? Look at Michigan.” • All year, Donald Trump has been promising to rescue the US coal industry by repealing various Obama-era pollution rules and ending the “war on coal.” And all year, analysts have pointed out that he probably cannot deliver on that promise. [Vox]

Monroe Power Plant (Port of Monroe) Monroe Power Plant in Michegan (Port of Monroe)

¶ “Trump’s Election Is No Death Knell For Climate Progress”
The US can meet the climate action commitments made in Paris last year, even if Mr Trump decides to withdraw. It is the US cities, communities, and businesses who are ultimately getting on with the massive job of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [Huffington Post Australia]

Science and Technology:

¶ If it feels like it hasn’t rained in months in the South, you’re right. The region is experiencing an extreme…

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November 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bolivian Water Crisis as Glaciers Vanish, Population Grows

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:  Many places will have to begin pumping groundwater.  That’s a temporary solution, however.  Here in the arid western United States, we’ve seen what happens as the depth to water falls and the cost of pumping rises. We’ve also seen how toxic metals concentrate in shrinking groundwater aquifers.

One glacier on Chacaltaya mountain… has already completely disappeared.

“Bolivia’s government was recently forced to declare a state of national emergency — a terrible drought, said to be the worst in at least the past 25 years, plus increasing demand in the form of population growth have left the country high and dry.

“As of now, the country is trying to drill their way out the predicament with “emergency wells.” In the city of La Paz, the three main reservoirs that provide the city’s water are almost dry. It is reported that five other major cities also face severe water shortages…

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November 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Climate goals abandoned as adaptation gap opens wide

jpratt27

By David Spratt

Here is a question we need to ask: are climate policy makers actually pursuing the goals they set themselves more than 20 years ago, or have the goals been abandoned, and are we falling fast through an “adaptation gap”?
Like the United Nations, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Conference of the Parties (COP) are diplomatic fora, populated by professional representatives of national ruling elites, and subject to the diplomatic processes of negotiation, trade-offs and deals. Civil society sectors are excluded from formal decision-making.
Decision-making is inclusive (by consensus), making outcomes hostage to national interests and lowest-common-denominator politics.
As one example, the COP 21 Paris Agreement is almost devoid of substantive language on the cause of human-induced climate change and contains no reference to “coal”, “oil”, “fracking”, “shale oil”, “fossil fuel” or “carbon dioxide”, nor to the words “zero”, “ban”, “prohibit” or…

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November 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What to do about climate change deniers? #auspol Criminal Neglect?

jpratt27

By Professor Dr. Heiner Flassbeck

Although it is by now clear that humanity finds itself in major trouble, deniers are not stopping their attempts to manipulate public opinion.

These people have been a curse for many decades.

As I said in the first part, a new study by Friedrich et al. shows that the IPCC prediction of an increase of the Earth’s average temperature of 2.6 and 4.8 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100 is an under-estimation.

Instead they predict that the range could be between 4.78C and 7.36C by 2100.


If this is true – and there is no scientific valid reason to doubt this result – we are facing a gigantic crisis.

Nothing less than the survival of our species – and many others (or perhaps all) – is at stake.

But the deniers go on. They publish op-eds, papers (although not in peer-reviewed journals) and books in…

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November 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northeastern Japan Asks Koike for Tokyo Olympics Support

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Northeastern Japan asks Koike for support

Prefectural leaders from northeastern Japan have asked the Tokyo governor for cooperation in supporting reconstruction of the 2011 disaster-hit region through the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The governors and vice governors of the 6 prefectures handed a letter to Yuriko Koike when they met in Tokyo on Monday.

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They hope the Tokyo Games will help revitalize areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The region’s recovery is a key theme for the Games.

The letter calls for the region’s festivals and traditional arts performances to be featured in events held in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics.

It also asks that the region’s wood materials be used at the Games facilities and food products at cafeterias in the athletes’ village.

The letter requests the torch relay course pass through the entire region so as many residents as possible will be able to take part in the run.

The governors said they hope the Games will contribute to bringing more foreign tourists to northeastern Japan.

They also said people in the region want an opportunity to express their gratitude to other countries for assisting in reconstruction.

Tokyo Governor Koike said the Games are the best opportunity to show to the world how the region has recovered.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161128_20/

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer in 15 Prefectures

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A member of a fund that helps children with thyroid cancer explains the prefectures to be covered by its offer to defray medical costs, at an event in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Monday. 

Thyroid cancer fund to defray costs for young patients in Fukushima, 14 other prefectures

A fund supporting children with thyroid cancer said Monday it will pay part of the medical costs for young patients in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere in Japan.

The fund, called 3.11 Children’s Fund for Thyroid Cancer, will offer up to ¥200,000 to each patient 25 and under in 15 prefectures mainly in northeastern and eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

The regions were selected in accordance with various atmospheric dispersion models for radioactive iodine spread during the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

The fund will accept applications between December and March. After review, it will provide ¥100,000 for each case and additional ¥100,000 for relatively serious patients. A second round of applications will be accepted again from April.

The fund was initially promoted by politicians including former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa, and supported by celebrities such as actress Sayuri Yoshinaga. It has received ¥20 million in donations from the public since September.

Some Japanese researchers published a report attributing most of the thyroid cancer cases found among children and adolescents after the disaster began to radiation spewed by the triple core meltdown at the tsunami-swamped Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/28/national/thyroid-cancer-fund-defray-costs-young-patients-fukushima-14-prefectures/#.WDz7Dlzia-c

Private fund to help young thyroid cancer patients

A Japanese private foundation will offer financial aid to young people who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The foundation said on Monday it will provide a lump sum of 100,000 yen, or about 900 dollars, starting next month.

People aged 25 years old and younger who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, including suspected cases, are eligible for the aid. They should be residents of Fukushima or one of the 14 other prefectures in eastern Japan.

The foundation says it has raised about 20 million yen in public donations to help them.

Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting medical checkups for about 380,000 children aged 18 or younger after the 2011 accident. 175 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or are suspected cases.

The foundation’s representative, Hisako Sakiyama, says these young people will have to live with the risk of cancer for many years. She says the foundation wants to provide psychological support as well.

Applications for the financial aid will be accepted through March next year. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161128_17/

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima costs to soar to $176 billion

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Fukushima costs to soar to 20 trillion yen

TOKYO — The combined costs of paying compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the decommissioning of the plant’s reactors may be double the initial estimate, rising to more than 20 trillion yen ($176 billion), according to estimates by the country’s industry ministry.

At the end of 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which has since become the government’s official estimate.

As electric companies other than Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled plant, will also pass part of the cost on to consumers through higher rates, an increase in the public burden is unavoidable.

According to multiple sources, the ministry has already conveyed its new estimates to members of its expert panel, which is in discussions on reforming the management structure at Tepco and measures to secure funds.

The ministry aims to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Finance during planned discussions over the expansion of an interest-free loan program from 9 trillion yen to support Tepco.

The 11-trillion estimates foresaw 5.4 trillion yen for compensation payments; 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination work; 1.1 trillion yen for the construction of interim radioactive waste storage facilities; and 2 trillion yen secured by Tepco to scrap the reactors.

The new estimates see compensation payments costing 8 trillion yen and 4-5 trillion yen for decontamination.

The cost of decommissioning reactors — a process which will span at least 30-40 years — are projected to swell to hundreds of billions of yen a year from the current 80 billion. That would add several trillion yen to the overall cost.

Combined with the cost of building interim storage facilities, the total cost is forecast to exceed 20 trillion yen.

The snowballing costs are due mainly to the expansion of the number of people eligible for damages and the difficulty of conducting decontamination work, neither of which was fully understood when the initial estimates were made.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Fukushima-costs-to-soar-to-20-trillion-yen*

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Cost of Fukushima disaster expected to soar to ¥20 trillion

The overall cost of wrapping up the Fukushima nuclear disaster is now estimated at more than ¥20 trillion, nearly double the previous estimate, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which previously put the overall cost at ¥11 trillion, is considering passing on a portion of the costs, including for compensation and the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, to consumers via higher electricity prices, the sources said.

The aged, six-reactor plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., was plunged into a blackout by the March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, leading to three core meltdowns and the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

According to the new estimate, Tepco’s compensation payments will rise to ¥8 trillion from ¥5.4 trillion and decontamination costs will double to around ¥5 trillion.

Trillions more will be needed to decommission the reactors and deal with radioactive water at the plant, on top of the ¥2 trillion earlier estimated, the sources said.

The ministry has been discussing reforming crisis-hit Tepco and is about to draft a plan for the utility based on the new estimate within this year.

Combined with the cost of building interim waste storage facilities, foreseen to remain at ¥1.1 trillion, the total cost is forecast to surpass ¥20 trillion, the sources said.

The government is studying the possibility of expanding a ¥9 trillion interest-free loan program for Tepco that was set up by issuing government bonds to cover compensation payments and decontamination costs in areas hit by the disaster.

It is expected to take up to 30 years to recover the ¥9 trillion through payments from Tepco and other big utilities.

The government also plans to recover the expected increase in compensation payments and decontamination expenses by raising charges for transmission line usage for new electricity retailers.

In principle, Tepco needs to secure funds on its own for decommissioning the plant. The government will manage the funds, which will be established using profits generated by the utility. But it is not clear if Tepco alone can shoulder the cost.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/28/national/cost-fukushima-disaster-expected-soar-%c2%a520-trillion/#.WDz8mlzia-d

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Fukushima nuclear decommission, compensation costs to almost double: media

Japan’s trade ministry has almost doubled the estimated cost of compensation for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant to more than 20 trillion yen ($177.51 billion), the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

The trade ministry at the end of 2013 calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which was comprised of 5.4 trillion yen for compensation, 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination, 1.1 trillion yen for an interim storage facility for contaminated soil, and 2 trillion yen for decommissioning, the report said.

The new estimate raised the cost of compensation to 8 trillion yen and decontamination to 4-5 trillion yen, the cost for an interim storage facility remained steady, and decommissioning will rise by several trillion yen, it added.

The part of the cost increase will be passed on in electricity fees, it added, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The ministry could not provide immediate comment.

On March 11, 2011, a massive 9 magnitude earthquake, the strongest quake ever recorded in Japan, created three tsunamis that knocked out the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will discuss with the Ministry of Finance a possible expansion of the interest-free loan program from 9 trillion yen, to help support the finances of the Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co’s, the report said.

The cost of cleaning up Tokyo Electric Power’s wrecked Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant may rise to several billion dollars a year, from less than $800 million per year now, the Japanese government said last month.

The Mainichi newspaper reported in October that Japan’s utilities lobby expects clean-up and compensation costs from the Fukushima disaster to overshoot previous estimates by 8.1 trillion yen.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tepco-outlook-idUSKBN13N03G

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 1 Comment