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Fukushima faces wall to hosting Olympic baseball

radioactive baseball.jpg


LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The world governing body for baseball and softball is calling on the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to secure “a second stadium in the metropolitan area,” and is making it a prerequisite for the body to approve a plan to hold some games for the additional event in Fukushima Prefecture, it has been learned.

The organizing committee is finding it difficult to accept the idea of setting up “a second stadium” and negotiations are bound to reach a deadlock. The decision to make Fukushima an Olympic venue may have to wait until next spring or later.

The request from the World Baseball Softball Confederation was made known in a letter sent to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee, revealed the content of the letter in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday. Mori is attending a board meeting of the International Olympic Committee held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The IOC board approved of the plan to make Yokohama Stadium in the city of Yokohama the main venue for the additional event, but the decision on Fukushima was deferred.

According to Mori, the letter stated that the three possible venues in the prefecture – stadiums in the cities of Fukushima, Iwaki and Koriyama – were worthy candidates, but also set two conditions in order for the WBSC to approve the plan: to upgrade the stadium to be decided such as by turfing the infield and to secure a second stadium in the metropolitan area.

The IOC currently has plans to divide the six participating national teams into two groups for the preliminary round, so that eight to 10 games will be held in total including the final. The WBSC, on the other hand, intends to make the qualifying games a round robin of all six teams, which would likely increase the total number of games to from 17 to 19. With this in mind, the world body is hoping to add a second stadium to the event, such as Seibu Prince Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, or Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba.

Mori made it clear after the IOC board meeting that he would oppose the idea of a second stadium in the metropolitan area. He explained that the organizing committee has an understanding with the IOC that hosting an Olympic event in a disaster area should be considered separately as part of ongoing restoration efforts. “We have reconfirmed with the IOC that the principle of one venue still stands,” he said.

Financial concerns are another reason for opposing the second stadium plan. A senior official of the organizing committee said, “The budget will likely swell, and therefore, it would be difficult [to accept the idea].”

Mori had discussions with IOC President Thomas Bach at a luncheon on Wednesday. The IOC side informally told Mori that it backs the idea of hosting events in Fukushima and also that it will hear from the WBSC about the matter. The Japan side intends to continue negotiations with the WBSC while working in tandem with the IOC, and hopes to reach a conclusion at an IOC board meeting to be held next spring or later.

Deferring the decision to host the event in Fukushima will likely hinder preparations for the event, such as modifying the stadium and securing operation fees, and may put unwanted pressure on the disaster area.

The IOC board meeting on Wednesday came to a conclusion on the venues of five other additional events, including karate and surfing.

According to the decision, karate will be held at Nippon Budokan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, while skateboarding and sport climbing will take place in the Odaiba and Aomi districts in Koto Ward, Tokyo. Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, Chiba Prefecture, is the venue for surfing.

The organizing committee informed the board of its plan to cap the total cost of holding the Games at 2 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) and promoted Japan’s efforts to cut down costs.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

An Option Discussed For Fukushima Contaminated Water: Evaporation



The person in charge of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has revealed a possible new way to deal with the radioactive water stored there: just let it evaporate.
“The amount of radioactive water at the plant continues to increase. We need to find a way to reduce it,” says Naohiro Masuda, president of the Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning Company.
Masuda and his team of 6,000 workers have struggled with the problem of contaminated water. Workers must constantly inject water into the crippled reactors to cool molten debris and then pump it out. Groundwater flowing into the reactor buildings adds to the problem.
Executives with the plant’s operator, TEPCO, have said they will continue storing the water on site. Masuda says evaporation is one of the options being discussed.
“Diluting the contaminated water and discharging it into the ocean has been discussed. But another option is evaporating the water. This method was used following the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US,” he says.
Masuda says the task force of the government is discussing the methods. Masuda’s engineers and workers use purification equipment to remove most of the radioactive substance, but they can’t remove it all. Local fishermen strongly oppose releasing water directly into the ocean. The evaporation method could be an acceptable alternative for them, although some experts say its environmental consequences are unclear.
Handling contaminated water is just one aspect of the highly complex decommissioning process. Masuda believes that he’ll need to rely on the international community for support.
“We’ll be cooperating mainly with the United States, Britain, France, and Russia. We’re already getting help from people at nuclear-related facilities in these counties. We’re learning how to decommission and shut down facilities and deal with contaminated soil,” he says.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

‘Nuke food’ already here

FDA announced a national recall of a fermented soybean product on Sunday, after discovering that the product included a package of soy sauce originating from a “radiation-affected” region of Japan.



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a national recall of a fermented soybean product on Sunday, after discovering that the product included a small package of soy sauce originating from a radiation-affected region of Japan.

Radiation detection tests conducted by the Atomic Energy Council showed that the soy sauce had not been contaminated by nuclear substances, the FDA said.

But the discovery of the Ibaraki-sourced soy sauce had caught authorities off guard, highlighting a loophole in Taiwan’s five-year ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures.

Food products from Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures are banned over fears they may be contaminated with radioactive substances, following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.

During a press conference on Sunday, FDA officials said they had asked all national retailers to recall products containing the soy sauce as a preventative measure. Any business that chose to keep the product in the market would be subject to a maximum NT$3 million penalty, health authorities said.

Officials said the soy sauce had been sold by food importer Taicrown Corporation (太冠國際) to downstream distributors including Japanese restaurant chain Yoshinoya, RT-Mart, shopping malls SOGO, Shinkong Mitsukoshi and Far Eastern.

The recalled fermented soybean product, called natto, had been manufactured by a Japanese company called KAJINOYA, FDA official Wu Ming-mei (吳明美) said.

Wu said the importer was in the process of collecting related information and would provide further details to the FDA before 5 p.m. on Monday.

According to media, Yoshinoya said its supplier provided safety certification for its imports, but that it had decided to pull the product from their menus regardless.

SOGO and Shinkong Mitsukoshi both said Taicrown Corporation had yet to offer any explanations and both offered refunds to customers that had purchased the product.

RT-Mart also issued a statement Sunday, stressing it had removed the natto product from its shelves last Friday after finding it suspicious during internal product inspections earlier that day.

Five other natto products imported by Taicrown have also been removed, and customers may receive refunds if they have any concerns, said RT-Mart.

The current administration is planning to gradually relax restrictions on Japanese food imports from the Fukushima nuclear disaster zones, but faced violent protests at public hearings last month.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | 1 Comment

A world in crisis needs greater funding for education

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

You might wonder what this news item is doing on an antinuclear page. Well,it’s not because I’m a great fan of former Australian Prime minister Julia Gillard.  However, I was so pleased to see what she is now doing.  I am convinced that education is the basic requirement for human society to survive.

America would not have got president elect Trump if that country had a decent, nation-wide, eductaion system. No wonder the under-priveleged battlers hate “the elites” – including the well-educated people who make fun of them.

The nuclear lobby, the climate deniers, thye bigots of all persuasions, will put it over a poorly educated puiblic.


Gillard,-Julia-1Education funding must be raised across globe or world will face crisis, Julia Gillard says ABC News, 11 Dedc 16 The world is facing a crisis if countries do not increase their education budgets and get more children into school, warns former prime minister Julia Gillard, now chair of global education funding agency the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)……..

Ms Gillard said this was a crisis not just for the individual children missing out on school, but also at the global economy level.

“One of things we have learned is that we can overcome these problems if we try,” Ms Gillard told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“This isn’t the equivalent of saying let’s go to Mars or let’s go to Pluto. This isn’t something that no human being has done before.

“It’s not that at all. If every country was improving its education system as the rate of the top 25 countries — in their income band — then we would solve all these problems and be on track to have a learning generation with every child in school.”

Ms Gillard, who was speaking ahead of a two-day conference on children’s rights in New Delhi, said it was imperative both domestic and overseas financing were made available as one of the first efforts to get children into school.

She said 20 per cent of government budgets, or 6 per cent of gross domestic product, would be an indication a country was trying to make a real difference to the education of children, yet many countries were failing to achieve that level.

According to the Education Commission, low- and middle-income countries’ expenditure on education was $US1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) in 2015, but should have been almost three times that, at $US2.7 trillion by 2030.

Ms Gillard said foreign aid was also meagre, with only 3 per cent of overseas assistance going towards education…..

“Education is a pretty patient investment in quite an impatient world. People want to see quick results. It takes years to educate a child.

“But if this continues, we will see a generation which simply doesn’t have the skills and capacities to make a life for themselves and the next generation of children will be less likely to survive infanthood, less likely to be vaccinated and less likely to go to school themselves.”

December 12, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

No room for wives in BBC’s staff nuclear cold war bunker

atomic-bomb-ltext-from-the-archivesBBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust – but wives left at men onlyhome—but-wive/ Telegraph Reporters 23 JULY 2016 

BBC employees were offered the chance to survive a nuclear holocaust by broadcasting from an underground bunker, but they could not tell their wives, newly released files reveal.

The broadcaster secretly drew up plans during the Cold War for how it would run a Wartime Broadcasting System in the event of a major disaster.

Early versions of the plan – known as the ‘War Book’ – say that staff were “assigned” or “designated” to go underground, but later editions suggest they were “invited”. Chosen workers were informed not to tell their wives or bring them to the bunker, the files released by the BBC reveal.

“My clearest memory is of a discussion about whether people with spouses could bring them along,” Bob Doran, an experienced editor in Radio News in the 1980s, who attended a civil service seminar in Yorkshire said. The answer was no.
BBC bosses planned to set up 11 protected bunkers – known as ‘Regional Seats of Government’ – spread across the UK, each with a studio and five staff from nearby local radio stations.

A bunker at the Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton in Worcestershire would be a headquarters staffed by 90 BBC staff including engineers, announcers, 12 news editors and sub-editors.

The output would be controlled by the government, but the BBC made a collection of cassette tapes of old radio comedies to entertain the public.

Shows chosen to amuse listeners during Armageddon included the Goon Show, Just a Minute and Round the Horne.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | history, media, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China again flies nuclear-capable bomber over South China Sea

China ‘sends message to Trump’ by flying nuclear-capable bomber over South China Sea for the first time since The Donald’s controversial phone call with Taiwan’s leader

  • Chinese H-6 bomber was escorted by fighter jets over disputed South China Sea
  • Pentagon officials say move was meant to send a message to Donald Trump
  • Satellites also detect Chinese surface-to-air missiles being placed on an island
  • Maneuvers come against backdrop of tensions stoked by call with Taiwan leader 

China flew a long-range bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons over the South China Sea in recent days, according to US officials.

The move appears to be Beijing’s way of flexing its military muscles in a worrying show of force that officials in Washington say is a message to President-elect Donald Trump, Fox News reported on Friday.

For the first time since Trump upended decades of diplomatic protocol and spoke on the phone with the leader of Taiwan, China flew aircraft over an area that includes disputed islands which it claims as its own.

The flight route corresponded to the so-called ‘Nine-Dash line,’ the demarcation boundary used by China to mark a number of islands that are also claimed by neighboring countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei……….

The US suspects that China is expanding its military reach into the South China Sea.

The latest military maneuvers are all the more disconcerting since they come against the backdrop of increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Trump said on Thursday the United States needed to improve its relationship with China, which he criticized for its economic policies and failure to rein in North Korea. ……..

Trump criticized China repeatedly during his presidential campaign and drew a diplomatic protest from Beijing last week after speaking by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province.

It was the first such top-level contact with Taiwan by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter adopted a ‘one-China’ policy in 1979, recognizing only the Beijing government………

December 12, 2016 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s nuclear dominoes – power plants to close soon

nuclear-dominoesREPORT: Half Of All US Nuclear Reactors Are Risking Closure, Daily Caller, ANDREW FOLLETT
Energy and Science Reporter, 11 Dec 16  About half of U.S. nuclear reactors are at risk of closing early, according to a new report by a self-described centrist think tank.

The report, by Third Way, found in the past two years, six states have shut down nuclear plants and that “dozens” of other plants across the U.S. are facing challenging economic conditions, placing them at risk of imminent retirement.

Third Way notes eight nuclear reactors have announced retirement plans……

December 12, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Moms Clean Air Force Outraged at Trump’s Pick to Head EPA

trump-worldMoms Outraged at Trump’s Pick to Head EPA    By Dominique Browning 11 Dec 16 

The nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is unprecedented. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, it is a travesty—because Pruitt has vigorously used his office to derail and obstruct clean air safeguards that are broadly supported by Americans in red and blue states alike. This nomination is a danger to our children and families.

Moms are outraged about this most cynical choice. We do not want an Environmental Destruction Agency.

Pruitt has used his office to attack vital safeguards for our children’s health.

Pruitt, Oklahoma’s top legal officer, has been against every single clean air protection we have gained. He has sued to stop vital safeguards that protect us from mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other emissions. These protections are supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association.

Pruitt has used his office to attack protections against soot and smog pollution, and to attack EPA’s science documenting oil and gas air pollution levels.

Pruitt is against standards for reducing soot and smog that crosses state lines and pollutes neighbors’ air. Pruitt is against standards that improve air quality in our national parks. In 2014, Pruitt led an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” with large energy companies to attack clean air rules. This included using a letter written by an energy company as his own to challenge EPA’s science-based analysis of the oil and gas pollution levels in our communities.

Pruitt lies about science.

Pruitt has also professed profound ignorance—willful ignorance—about global warming. He is against any and all plans to cut the carbon and methane pollution that is dangerously altering our atmosphere. He perpetuates lies in an all-out assault on science.

He says the science on climate change is not settled. This is a lie. He claims that human activity has not changed the atmosphere. This is a lie. He claims we can do nothing about a natural phenomenon that has always occurred. This is a lie.

Pruitt accepts money from corporate polluters—to protect them.

He has sued to protect corporate polluters—and his campaigns have been funded by polluters. He has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel companies—to protect their ability to pollute.

Pruitt destroys solutions, rather than solves problems.

He has led lawsuits to undo clean air protections. But he has never, not once, advanced a single solution to any of the problems that the Clean Air Act must, by law, address. Pruitt does not offer solutions to mercury coming from coal-fired power plants, mercury that damages fetal and infant brains.

Pruitt does not offer solutions to soot and smog pollution. Pruitt does not offer solutions to the wasted methane that escapes from fracking operations. Pruitt does not offer plans to cut the emissions that are dangerously throwing our climate off balance.

Pruitt is not a leader for the new economy.

He is operating with an outdated understanding of science, economics, markets and job growth. He will not help position America globally as an innovative energy leader.

The Clean Air Act was signed into law by a Republican president and it was strengthened twenty years later by a Republican president. It is a vital demonstration that some things must transcend partisan politics: the protection of clean air and clean water chief among them.

President-elect Donald Trump was not given a mandate by the American people to stop protecting us from air pollution.

Pruitt’s entire career has demonstrated that his priority is obstructing clean air safeguards for our children.

Tell your elected officials: Scott Pruitt is a dangerous EPA nominee.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

The main barriers to using nuclear weapons are psychological, not legal

TrumpWhat’s standing between Donald Trump and nuclear war?  The main barriers to using nuclear weapons are psychological, not legal, The Verge by  Dec 11, 2016 When President-elect Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States in January, he will take complete control of America’s nuclear arsenal. Should he decide to start a nuclear war, there are no legal safeguards to stop him. Instead, a much less tangible web of norms, taboos, and fears has reined in US presidents since World War II. But as North Koreaescalates its nuclear weapons tests and the president-elect of the United States openly contemplates using nukes, experts worry that this fragile web could start to tear.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India wants proof of efficiency of French and USA nuclear reactors

India seeks details of working nuclear reactors from US, French firms, Indian Express By PTI 11th December 2016 NEW DELHI: India has asked American and French nuclear companies, which propose to build atomic plants in the country, to furnish details of functional reactors designed by them as proof of their efficacy.

Sources said French company EDF and US firm Westinghouse are still not ready with fully operational “reference plants”, a pre-requisite before a final General Framework Agreement could be signed with these entities.

The EDF proposes to build six nuclear European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) of 1650 MW each in Jaitapur and Westinghouse another set of six AP1000 reactors in Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh with an individual capacity of 1000 MW.

A senior government official said designs presented by the two companies are new, so even the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) wants to see how the technology works.

“We have told them to show a reference nuclear plant, which is functional and produces electricity. On paper, the designs of these companies look nice, but we should also know whether they work well or not. This will also help in getting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the nuclear watchdog in the country,” the official said.

India specialises in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors while the one which foreign companies are building are Light Water Reactors (LWRs) with some distinction from one another.

Interestingly, the Russian have built Kudankulam units one and two, a VVER technology.

The EDF, which is now negotiating with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), said it had given Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant 3 as the reference plant.

The French government-owned company said the Flamanville plant with a capacity of 1630 MW should be operational by next year.

However, sources said it might take a tad longer for the plant to become operational……

December 12, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics | Leave a comment

South Africa should dump nuclear power – Energy Minister’s advisers reveal

flag-S.AfricaEnergy minister’s advisers reveal why nuclear should be dumped News 24, Dec 07 2016 14:53  Matthew le Cordeur Cape Town – A Ministerial Advisory Council on Energy (Mace) working group report on South Africa’s future energy plan explains that by removing policy adjustments and keeping the plan at a least cost level, the need for nuclear energy falls away.

The report was presented by Mace member Mike Levington on Wednesday, as part of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s)  public consultation workshop for the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Integrated Energy Plan process……….

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown have come out in support of nuclear energy as a big part of the eventual IRP, but critics have warned that nuclear energy’s inclusion will be a political decision and not based on scientific fact.

The Mace report recommended that the “annual new-build limits for solar PV and wind should be removed” from the base case assumptions, Levington revealed.

“This unconstrained scenario … re-run with correct solar PV and wind cost assumptions, should form the least-cost base case of IRP 2016,” it explained.

“Step by step constraints or policy adjustments scenarios (for example annual new-build limits for solar PV and wind) should also be financially modelled and the total cost per year of such constrained scenarios compared with the revised least-cost Base Case to assess the cost effectiveness of such interventions,” it said.

The Mace committee said nuclear energy is not a least-cost option in the current 2010 IRP.

“In IRP 2010, nuclear was not the least-cost option,” they said. “It was a policy decision to include nuclear in the plan to cater for uncertainties around the forecasted cost reduction of renewables, as at the time it was unclear whether they would materialise in the magnitude and as quickly as anticipated in the IRP 2010.

“These adjustments led to the model building nuclear under very specific constraints, where the amount of required CO2-neutral electricity could not be supplied entirely by renewables because of these annual new-build limits.”

Looking ahead, it said a “least cost IRP model, free of any artificial constraints and before any policy adjustments, does not include any new nuclear power generators”.

“The optimal least cost mix is one of solar PV, wind and flexible power generators (with relatively low utilisation).”……..

December 12, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

New climate change movie, from Al Gore

Gore,-Al-climateAl Gore’s new climate change movie arrives just in time, WP  December 10 The Sundance Film Festival will open in January with a new climate change movie from Al Gore — and the timing, unfortunately, could not be better.

Paramount Pictures and Participant Media announced Friday that the follow-up to the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” — in which filmmaker Davis Guggenheim documented Gore’s traveling slide show on global warming — will follow the former vice president as he travels around the world exploring advances and challenges in the fight against climate change.

In a statement, Gore said: “Now more than ever we must rededicate ourselves to solving the climate crisis.  But we have reason to be hopeful; the solutions to the crisis are at hand.”

So that’s good news, yes? Presumably, Gore said as much to President-Elect Donald Trump when the two met last week for a chat that Gore described, somewhat enigmatically, as an  “extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued.”

Not so fast. Three days after that meeting, Trump named Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general  — and a climate change skeptic, who is currently suing the Environmental Protection Agency — to head that agency, provoking outrage from environmentalists.

Perhaps Gore can reserve a couple of seats to the screening of his new film for Trump and Pruitt. The as-yet-unnamed documentary, directed by Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk (“Audrie & Daisy”), will premiere on opening night of the festival, which will have an environmental focus throughout its 11-day run (Jan. 19-29)…….

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment