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UK nuclear groups whinging like F&^K!! UK Government tries to defend itself against nuclear compensation claims regardless!

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The pro nuclear organisations are panicking and showing symptoms of Brexitphobia (such as whining) as the UK prepares to withdraw from Euratom Treaty and are pulling out all the stops to reverse the situation. In the article below from the Weinberg Next Nuclear Foundation they even claim that leaving Euratom is not necessary even if the UK commits to Brexit. Research foundations and even anti nuclear assessments are included in their press release below.

The question is why is the UK are leaving the treaty? One reason could be that according to the new EU radiation protection legislation just being enacted by the German Government which rolls all the present legislation into one law and next year it will include making parts of the Euratom treaty Legal and binding.

A second point to note is that a new “Medical Physics Expert” (MPE) position has been accepted and that this will be an expert who will have cross boundary recognition which means that a German, Italian etc Expert  checking out the UK`s compliance with the provisions of all new EU nuclear regulations (and Vise Versa).

Thirdly by withdrawing from Euratom and the EU, there is another treaty that the UK is being recently queried about called ESPOO (The cross border contamination treaty). The UK is being asked to explain itself by Norway and some other countries in relation to the nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield and the UK`s new nuclear builds. [ I will leave copy and pastes to the links to the ESPOO treaty regulation and MPE issues under the Weinberg panicking  article].

Given all the above it would seem that the UK has some secrets to hide and pulling out of these treaties would be to its advantage (The ESPOO treaty 1991 states that non EU state members need not fulfill the requirements).

When we consider the moves by UK experts to minimise the threat of radiation allowing 100 mSv/y instead of the normal 1 mSv/y because of the risk of legal actions against UK nuclear contaminated sites and interests in Japan (after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011) etc, we should consider this to be a defensive move against litigation, such as the British Nuclear Test Veterans legal challenges where foreign experts were dismissed out of hand by the UK supreme court  (The report was released a week before Christmas day) and the same battle is being fought over the increased Thyroid cancer cases in Japan (That the UK experts are supporting the “no damage due to radiation” defense).

It is interesting that the UK will risk research funding for the new reactor in Oxford etc to save itself (and the Japanese government) against the possibility of massive compensation damages. The UK is presently using its expert Geraldine Thomas to reduce the thyroid cancer checks in Fukushima prefecture and stopping the expansion of these tests to surrounding prefectures just when an increase is likely to be found and Japanese experts are rallying against this move by the Japanese and UK government experts. Another one of tne of the defenses for their position is the Radiophobia argument that has been debunked by many independent radation experts in articles and papers (reference WHOi the Independent World health Organisation for instance).

Lastly, the European commission is challenging tender procedures for renewables and gas energy sources and Euratoms right to overide this aspect of EU regulation (reference search terms on Euratom Belarus Hungary commission in the http://www.euractiv.com website for updated information). And of course the EURATOM considerations on health effects is being challenged because of new scientific evidence that has come to light (re-justification of Euratom link below).

Arclight2011 aka Shaun McGee

Leaving Euratom: the government should reconsider

January 27th, 2017

Posted by Suzanna Hinson

It has been confirmed that the UK intends to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) as part of the Brexit process. Following their loss in the Supreme Court last week, the government has produced a bill on triggering Article 50 to put to a commons vote. As part of the explanatory notes of this very short bill, was the revelation that Britian will be leaving both the EU and Euratom. Euratom, a separate legal entity to the EU but governed by EU institutions, has controlled nuclear power in Europe since 1957.

The move has been met with shock by the industry, with Dr Paul Dorfman, honorary senior researcher at the Energy Institute at University College London, calling it a “lose-lose situation” due to the potential for reduced competitiveness and reduced safety. There will be increased pressure on the already under-resourced Office for Nuclear Regulation to cover all of Euratom’s responsibilities including non-proliferation inspections, authorizing the sale of nuclear material and safeguarding power, fuel fabrication and waste sites. Alternatively the UK would need to negotiate with the International Atomic Energy Agency for help with this new burden. The decision will likely impact the UK’s plans for new power stations, research, skills development and dealing with the waste legacy.

The decision will also likely mean the eventual loss of the world leading Fusion experiment based in Culham, Oxfordshire, involving 350 scientists and funding from 40 countries, to another country such as Germany or France. This loss could risk perpetrating across the nuclear research space, with the isolation from Euratom making the UK far less attractive for research and innovation leading to a funding and brain drain at the very time the UK is trying to reinvigorate its nuclear leadership through it’s Industrial Strategy.

A complex set of negotiations will now have to take place as most nuclear co-operation with the UK relies on safeguards provided through Euratom. It may not be possible to agree and ratify new agreements before Britain leaves the EU in 2019. According to Vince Zabielski, a senior lawyer at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, “current new build projects will be placed on hold while those standalone treaties are negotiated” meaning possible delays at Hinkley as well as Bradwell, Moorside and Wylfa.

The decision however is not just bad for the UK, but for nuclear as a whole. With the UK one of the last big supporters of the technology, weakening its strength in the field will give power to anti-nuclear camps across the continent.

Weinberg Next Nuclear is very concerned that the departure from Euratom could severely damage the UK’s nuclear industry, with impacts on energy security, industrial competitiveness and decarbonisation objectives. We find no reason why such drastic action needs to be taken. Article 50 deals with the two Treaties of Lisbon: the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However the Euratom treaty is separate, not mentioned in either of the above treaties thus there is no reason for including Euratom in any part of Article 50 debate. As Jonathan Leech, a senior lawyer and nuclear expert at Prospect Law said, “there doesn’t seem to have been any real explanation as to why, because we are going towards the unknown at great speed. Legally we don’t have to [leave Euratom because the UK is leaving the EU],”.

Weinberg Next Nuclear thus urges the government to reconsider and avoid the highly damaging consequences this unnecessary withdrawal could have on the UK’s nuclear future.

Source for the above “whiny”2017  Weinberg article here http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2017/01/27/leaving-euratom-the-government-should-reconsider/

Source to the implementation of MPE changes here (deleted off the internet so here is a cached copy) ; Luxembourg 2014  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:l79wNIabyYoJ:77.220.64.154/aifm/documenti/data/pubblici/doc/2014/2014_02_26_RP_174.pdf+&cd=19&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie&client=ubuntu

Link to the German comment on implementation of the new EU radiological regulations here with some of the sepcifications for changes including reducing the use of X-rays etc (In English with link to the original German article) January 2017; https://nuclear-news.net/2017/01/27/new-radiological-protection-act-and-progress-on-nuclear-phase-out-in-germany/

Link to one attack on the Euratom treaty concerning the treaties minimising of health effects using UK backed experts; https://rejustificationofeuratomireland.wordpress.com/

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

New Radiological Protection Act and progress on nuclear phase-out in Germany

Published: 27/01/2017 21:04 CET

The Federal Cabinet recently adopted a draft radiation protection law on the proposal of the Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. This is to improve the radiological emergency protection of the Federal Government and the federal states in German-speaking countries.

Hendricks: “Radiation protection is of great importance for human health and relevance to many areas of life. With the modernized and expanded regulatory framework, we have a reliable basis for a comprehensive protection of citizens against ionizing radiation. In the case of emergency radiological protection, we are creating a modern management system with which we can cover a large number of emergency scenarios – including major accidents in nuclear power plants “.

Until now, the radiation protection law was regulated by the Radiation Protection Ordinance and the X-ray Ordinance based on the Atomic Energy Act. In order to implement an EU directive, all areas of protection against ionizing radiation have now been consolidated for the first time in a single law. The law is to be passed before the Bundestag election. It would require the consent of the Bundestag and the Federal Council, as soon as this is available, this regulation could enter into force later this year. Other new arrangements for the implementation of Euratom directives at the level of regulation are to enter into force by the end of 2018.

Almost six after Fukushima and the decision to accelerate the nuclear phase, there seems to be a new phase. For the first time since the nuclear phase-out decision of 2011, a nuclear power plant in Germany has received a decommissioning permit. Work on the decommissioning and dismantling of the plant can now begin at the Isar 1 nuclear power plant.

Source in German – http://www.huffingtonpost.de/oliver-lippert/neues-strahlenschutzgeset_b_14441130.html?utm_hp_ref=germany&ir=Germany

Some highlights of a report from  2013 on some of the changes (including revising health advise from radiological natural and contamination sources here;

Major new provisions, also based on German negotiating positions, include:

  • improved radiation protection against the natural presence of radioactive substances which under certain circumstances can pose a risk to human health;
  • measures including an action plan for the protection against radon, a naturally present inert gas which can cause lung cancer;
  • provisions to regulate radiological pollution legacies;
  • detailed provisions for contingency plans and better cooperation among member states to harmonise action in case of emergencies;
  • clear provisions for medical x-ray check-ups to prevent unnecessary x-ray examinations.

The successful conclusion of negotiations is a first step towards a new EU-wide radiation legislation….  http://www.bmub.bund.de/en/press/press-releases/detailansicht-en/artikel/european-radiation-protection-law-undergoes-high-level-revision/

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Radiocesium Transfer in Forest Insect Communities after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Abstract

To understand radiocesium transfer in the forest insect food web, we investigated the activity concentrations of radiocesium in forest insects in the Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures approximately 1.5–2.5 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. We analyzed 34 species of insects sampled from 4 orders and 4 feeding functional groups (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, and detritivore) from three sites in each prefecture. 137Cs activity concentrations were lowest in herbivorous species and were especially high in detritivorous and omnivorous species that feed on forest litter and fungi. Radiocesium activity concentrations in any given species reflected the degree of contamination of that species’ primary food sources since radiocesium activity concentrations were found to be the lowest in leaves and grass and the highest in litter, bark, and fungi. This study confirmed that litter and other highly contaminated forest components such as fungi, decaying wood, bryophytes, and lichens serve as sources of 137Cs transfer into the forest insect community.

Introduction

The forest ecosystems of Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures were severely contaminated with radionuclides after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident on 11 March 2011 [1,2]. For decades to come, the most biologically important radionuclide will be radiocesium because of its long half-life (30.1 years for 137Cs, 2.1 years for 134Cs) [2,3]. Many studies have reported that most of the Chernobyl radiocesium fallout still resides in surface layers in bioavailable form and continues to be a major potential source for transfer into living organisms even several decades after deposition [4,5]. Similarly, in Fukushima, radiocesium is expected to remain in the litter and upper soil layers of the forest floor for the long term [3].

Entry of radiocesium into forest ecosystems can potentially occur through two different pathways: the plant-based food chain and the detritus-based food chain. In the plant-based food chain, radiocesium in living plants moves into grazing herbivores and then into carnivores. In the detritus-based food chain, radiocesium enters the ecosystem via organisms feeding on litter and detritus (detritivores) and carnivores. Previous studies have reported highly contaminated litter to be the primary source of radiocesium in the forest ecosystem [68]. A survey of the forest invertebrate communities in the United Kingdom found the highest activity concentrations of 137Cs in invertebrate detritivores, such as earthworms (Oligochaetes) and woodlice (Isopoda) [8]. By broadly sampling organisms in forests and adjacent streams, including both vertebrates and invertebrates (fish, amphibian, reptile, arthropod, earthworms, etc.), Murakami et al. [6] found that detritivores are more contaminated with 137Cs than herbivores and carnivores at Fukushima.

The forest insect community constitutes a major route of radiocesium transfer to higher trophic organisms such as small mammals and birds. The highly varied feeding habits, life histories, and habitats of insects permit investigation of how radiocesium transfer from forest components into higher organisms occurs. There is particular concern for the effects of radiation on wildlife, including insects, as a result of the FDNPP accident [911]. However, compared with the numerous studies examining radioactive contamination of organisms used for human consumption, such as fish and game, only a few studies have been published about radionuclide accumulation in insects after the accident [12]. Previous studies conducted in European countries have reported on radionuclide transfer and accumulation of insects and other invertebrates [8,1317], but it remains unclear how 137Cs uptake occurs in the entire insect food web and in relation to insect feeding habits.

In this study, we focused on radiocesium transfer in insect communities by investigating 137Cs activity concentrationsg in forest insects in the Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures over a period of 1.5–2.5 years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor accident. To assess the distribution of radiocesium across insect communities and the influence of feeding ecology on radiocesium uptake, we collected insect samples from a wide range of insect species: We sampled species from four taxonomic orders (Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera) and four feeding functional groups within those orders (herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, detritivore). To assess 137Cs uptake across different levels of contamination, we collected samples from a high-contamination area in Fukushima and from a low-contamination area in Ibaraki (137Cs deposition was 130–270 kBq m−2 at the Fukushima area and 13 kBq m−2 at the Ibaraki area according to the 4th Airborne Radiation Monitoring by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2011) [18]. To assess the distribution of radiocesium in insect food sources, we also sampled forest floor litter, tree leaves, grasses, bark, fungi, and bryophytes in both study areas.

Materials and Methods

Study area and sampling locations

Fig 1 shows the locations of the two forest study areas in the Ibaraki Prefecture (sites A–C) and in the Fukushima Prefecture (sites D–F). The Ibaraki study area was located approximately 160 km southwest of the FDNPP, close to Mt. Tsukuba. Two sites were located in secondary forest dominated by deciduous trees (sites A, B) and the third was located in a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) plantation (site C). The Fukushima study sites were located 39 km northwest of the FDNPP, near Lake Udagawa. Sites D and F were secondary forest dominated by deciduous trees. Site E was a small open area surrounded by both deciduous and Japanese cedar forests. Light traps were used in the open area, and pitfall traps were set on the floor of the Japanese cedar forest. These traps are described in greater detail below. Permission was granted for the field study by the Kanto regional forest office and the Tohoku regional forest office of the Forest Agency.

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Fig 1. Locations of Study Sites in the Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures.

Left panel shows 137Cs deposition (Bq m−2) in eastern Japan (The map was generated from the Distribution Map of Radiation Dose by MEXT, Japan, http://ramap.jaea.go.jp/map/). Right panels are the aerial photographs provided by the Geographical Survey Institute (http://maps.gsi.go.jp/development/ichiran.html), with red squares showing locations of study sites in the Ibaraki Prefecture (A, B, C) and Fukushima Prefecture (D, E, F). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.g001

 

Sampling and specimen processing

Insect sampling was conducted during the summers of 2012 and 2013. Pitfall traps were used for ground-dwelling beetles, and light traps were used for moths and other flying insects. Grasshoppers were collected using a sweep net. For pitfall traps, circular 180-mL plastic drinking cups (7.5-cm diameter) containing acetic acid as bait were used. For each site, 60–150 traps were placed on the forest floor, and sampling took place for 2–28 days from June to September (see Table 1 for collection dates). Light trapping was conducted in the open area of site E in the Fukushima study area. For light traps, a white sheet (1.5 × 1.5 m) was hung behind two light sources (160-W mercury vapor and 20-W fluorescent UV), and insects were captured by hand. Light trapping was conducted for approximately 2 h between 18:00–21:00 h. Light trapping was conducted only at the Fukushima sites because we were unable to collect sufficient biomass for analysis in the Ibaraki sites because of the low 137Cs activity concentrations in samples in the preliminary test results. Sweep net sampling was conducted in an open area close to site D in 2013.

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Table 1. Details of study Site.

137Cs activity concentrations and counting errors in Litter Samples are shown for each study site. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.t001

 

Insect samples were sorted and identified to the species level. Several samples were identified only to the family level because of difficulties in species identification and because insufficient biomass was available for 137Cs determination if sorted to the species level. After measurement of fresh weight, samples were dried for >48 h at 60°C, then dry weights were determined. Individual samples of each species were combined and homogenized intact using a food processor. 137Cs concentration is reported for dry weight rather than wet because samples collected from pitfall traps vary greatly in fresh weight because of variations in acetic acid absorption.

Forest components, such as litter, tree leaves, grasses, barks, fungi, bryophytes were also sampled in 2012. Because fungi and bryophytes show a sporadic distribution, we sampled them only in the Fukushima sites in 2012. Leaf and grass samples were washed with water, dried at 70°C, weighed, and powdered using a food processor (see [19] for details). Litter, bark, fungi, and bryophytes were not washed but were dried and powdered similarly to leaves and grass.

Radiocesium measurements

All samples were stored in plastic containers (U8 container, diameter = 50 mm, height = 62 mm). 137Cs activity concentrations were measured using germanium coaxial detectors (GC2518Canberra Japan, Tokyo, Japan; SEG-EMS GEM 35–70, Seiko EG&G Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). Most samples were measured for <10% of the error counts per net area counts, and samples containing only a few becquerels of activity were measured for <15% of the error counts per net area counts. Standardized sources for calibrating the detectors were MX033U8PP (Japan Radioisotope Association, Tokyo, Japan) and EG-ML (Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products, Valencia, CA, USA). The software Gamma Studio (SEIKO EG&G, Tokyo, Japan) was used to analyze γ-ray spectra. Activities of samples were corrected for radioactive decay to the date of sample collection and were expressed as Bq/kg. S1 and S2 Tables show the 137Cs activity concentrations (Bq kg−1 dry weight) in sampled insect species and forest components, respectively.

Data analysis

After excluding values that fell below the detection limit of the instrumentation, data from 68 insect samples consisting of 34 species were used for the analysis of insect 137Cs activity concentrations. 137Cs activity concentrations tend to be lognormally distributed [20], so the 137Cs activity concentrations in insect and litter samples were log-transformed to fulfill requirements of normal distribution and homogeneity of variance. Whether 137Cs activity concentrations differed across feeding functional groups was assessed using a generalized linear mixed-effects model (GLMM). GLMM is an extension of the generalized linear model that takes into account both fixed and random effects [21]. In this study, the dependent variable was the 137Cs activity concentration in a given insect species. Fixed effects were functional feeding group, the 137Cs activity concentration in litter, sampling year (2012, 2013), and forest type (cedar vs. deciduous forest). Random effects were sampling site (A–F) and insect species. The functional feeding group to which a particular species was assigned (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, detritivore) was based on its predominant food source. To determine the best model, we used likelihood ratio tests to compare the full model with nested models in which one of the predictor variables was omitted. If the omitted variable had no significant effect on the model, then that variable was removed from the model. This model was also selected as the best model using AIC (Akaike’s Information Criterion) from models using all combinations of variables. Because we were interested in the differences between functional feeding groups, Tukey–Kramer post hoc tests were conducted to test multiple pairwise comparisons [22].

To compare the transfer of 137Cs into insects across different contamination levels in Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefecture, a concentration ratio (CR) was calculated for each species as Bq kg−1 dry weight of insect/Bq kg−1 dry weight of litter. Although different definitions of transfer have been developed for different purposes, we standardized 137Cs transfer into insect species to 137Cs activity concentrations in forest litter because litter is the most basal food resource in forest ecosystems.

All statistical analyses were performed with the software R, ver. 3.1.1 [23], using the optional package lme4 for GLMM analysis and the multcomp package for multiple comparisons.

Results and Discussion

137Cs distribution in forest components

137Cs activity concentrations in the various forest components are shown in Fig 2. As expected, 137Cs mostly accumulated in the litter layer. Living leaves and grass had much lower 137Cs activity concentrations than litter in both study areas, and this was the case for both cedar and deciduous forests. 137Cs activity concentrations were higher in the litter and leaves of cedar forests than in those of deciduous forests. The reported higher 137Cs activity concentrations in evergreen species than in deciduous species have been attributed to the expansion of the foliar parts of the former, but not of those of the latter, at the time of fallout [24]. The finding that litter has a higher activity concentrations of 137Cs than leaves is also consistent with previous studies, which reported that most of the radioactive cesium deposited in Fukushima forests was rapidly transported to the forest floor within 1–2 years after deposition [25,26]. Although the samples from Fukushima had an order of magnitude higher activity of 137Cs than those from Ibaraki, the pattern of distribution of 137Cs among forest components was similar in both areas. The relatively lower levels in leaves and grass reflects a low rate of uptake from the soil by living plants.

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Fig 2. 137Cs activity concentrations in Forest Components and Insects.

137Cs activity concentrations are shown for study sites in Fukushima (upper panel) and Ibaraki (lower panel) in 2012. Litter and leaf samples are shown separately for Japanese cedar forests (Litter_e and Leaf_e) and deciduous forests (Litter_d and Leaf_d). Dark horizontal lines represent the mean, with the box representing the 25th and 75th percentiles, the whiskers the 5th and 95th percentiles, and dots indicating outliers. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.g002

 

In contrast to leaves and grass, bark, bryophytes, and fungi were highly contaminated. Previous investigators have found that fungi strongly accumulate radiocesium and play an important role in the uptake and retention of radiocesium in the organic layers of forest ecosystems [5,27]. Bryophytes and lichens are also known to passively accumulate high levels of radiocesium and retain radionuclides for long time periods because of their long life spans [2830]. Thus, these forest components provide insect species not only a highly contaminated diet but also a contaminated habitat causing external radiation exposure.

The 137Cs activity concentrations in detritivorous insects were 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than the activity concentrations in litter in both the Ibaraki and Fukushima areas. Activity concentrations of 137Cs in herbivorous insects were similar to those in tree leaves and grass at Fukushima (no herbivorous insect samples were collected at Ibaraki.)

Effect of insect feeding habit on 137Cs uptake

Fig 3 presents a scatterplot of 137Cs activity concentrations in various insect species within the four functional feeding groups in relation to the 137Cs activity concentrations in litter contamination at the site where they were collected.

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Fig 3. 137Cs Activity Concentrations in Insect Feeding Functional Groups.

137Cs activity concentrations of insect species are shown in relation to the 137Cs activity concentrations in litter at the site. Colors indicate the functional feeding group to which species belongs: green, herbivore; yellow, omnivore; gray, carnivore; red, detritivore. Symbols indicate the sampling area: circle, Fukushima; triangle, Ibaraki. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.g003

 

The GLMM analysis of the contribution of each variable to insect 137Cs contaminations indicated a significant effect of litter 137Cs activity concentration and functional feeding group, whereas no significant effect was found for both sampling year and forest type (Table 2). In the final model (Table 3), 137Cs activity concentrations in insect samples were positively correlated with those in litter (P < .001). Thus, the 137Cs activity concentrations in insects reflected the degree of contamination of litter at the study sites. 137Cs activity concentrations of litter are heterogeneous and are known to redistribute with time on the forest floor [31]. On average, 137Cs concentrations in both the litter and the ground beetle Carabus albrecht were lower in 2013 than in 2012 (Table 1, S2 Table). However, at site F, the 137Cs activity concentration of litter was higher in 2013 than in 2012 (Table 1). Although the mechanism is not entirely clear, the lateral transport of heterogeneously contaminated litter might have caused an increase in 137Cs activity concentrations because site F was located near the bottom of a hillslope [31]. In association with the increase in 137Cs activity concentration in the litter, 137Cs activity concentrations in C. albrecht also increased from 242.5 Bq kg−1 to 459.3 Bq kg−1 and 473.0 Bq kg−1 at site F (S2 Table). This confirms that 137Cs activity concentrations in insects reflected the degree of contamination of litter; therefore, CR values calculated from 137Cs activity concentrations in litter are appropriate to compare the transfer of 137Cs into insects despite heterogeneous distribution of 137Cs on the forest floor.

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Table 2. Model selectionof GLMM for the 137Cs activity concentrations in insects.

The effect of separately omitting each variable from the full model showing both AIC and chi-square test statistics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.t002

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Table 3. The final model of GLMM for the 137Cs activity concentrations in insectsshowing estimates, standard errors, and P-values.

Coefficients in bold indicate significant effects (P < .05). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.t003

 

GLMM analysis also revealed the significant effect of functional feeding groups on insect 137Cs activity concentrations. Multiple comparison analysis showed that herbivores had significantly lower 137Cs activity concentrations than detritivores (P = .004), carnivores (P = .03), and omnivores (P = .05), but no significant differences were observed in its activity concentrations when the latter three functional groups were compared with one another (Table 3).

Fig 4 shows the CR for each insect species/order collected. Values ranged from 0.003 to 0.89.

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Fig 4. Concentration Ratio of 137Cs in Sampled Insect Species.

CRs were calculated as Bq kg−1 insect dry weight/(Bq kg−1 litter dry weight. Species are grouped by the orders to which they belong (Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Lepdoptera, Orthoptera) with lines separating the orders. Colors indicate the functional feeding group to which species belongs: green, herbivore; yellow, omnivore, gray, carnivore; red, detritivore. Symbols indicate the sampling area: circle, Fukushima; triangle, Ibaraki. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.g004

 

Although we have data on 137Cs activity concentrations for only carnivores and detritivores in Ibaraki sites, the CR values for the collected insect species were similar between Ibaraki and Fukushima sites. For example, CRs of the samples of C. albrechti, which were collected in large quantities at all sites, were similar between the Ibaraki and Fukushima sites (t-test, t = 0.01, df = 16, P = .99). These results suggest that uptake rate of 137Cs can be consistent regardless of amount of 137Cs depositions.

Comparing CRs across functional groups, herbivores showed the lowest values. Sampled herbivores included moths (Lepidoptera), herbivorous flying beetles (Coleoptera), stinging bugs (Hemiptera), and grasshoppers (Orthoptera). The low CRs for herbivorous insects reflect their diet of living plant tissues, which were found to contain relatively low activity concentrations of 137Cs compared to litter (Fig 2). The three herbivores with slightly higher CRs (Lithosia quadra, Eilema deplana, E. vestusa) are members lichen moth family Arctiidae. The CRs were likely higher because the larvae of these moth species feed on highly contaminated lichen and algae growing on trees or stones.

The CRs in carnivore species were overall higher than those in herbivores. Predominant carnivore species in the sample were ground-dwelling beetles of the family Carabidae. Ground beetles capture and consume a wide range of other soil-dwelling organisms, including detritivorous invertebrates and earthworms.

The higher CR values for carnivore species relative to herbivore species reflect the high contamination levels of the organisms in their diets. We did not investigate 137Cs activity concentrations in earthworms and soil invertebrates, but earthworms and detritivorous soil invertebrates such as springtails (Collembola) and woodlice (Isopoda) were consistently found to have higher 137Cs activity concentrations than other invertebrate groups [8,15]. Copplestone et al. [15] also standardized the activity concentration of 137Cs in living organisms to those in litter, reported ratios of 0.9–1.33 for earthworms showing relatively high CR value compared with carnivores in Fig 4. The snail-feeding Carabidae beetle, Damaster blaptoides, had the highest CR of all carnivore species collected, which also likely resulted from the contamination of terrestrial snails. Some species of terrestrial snails whose diet contain algae, lichens and fungi have been reported to accumulate relatively high amount of radiocesium than other herbivorous species [8,32].

Among detritivores and omnivores, high CR values were found for species that feed on fungi or litter, and relatively low values were found for carrion feeders. In this study, four species of Coleopteran beetles were classified as detritivores. Nicrophorus quadripunctatus and N. concolor are both carrion beetles of the family Silphidae, which feeds on vertebrate carcasses. Their 137Cs activity concentrations were similar to carnivore Carabidae beetles. On the other hand, the dung beetle, Geotrupes laevistriatus, and the giant weevil, Sipalinus gigas, showed high 137Cs activity concentrations. The larvae of these species and adult dung beetles feed on the dung of mammals, and adults are also attracted to decaying carrion and fungi. In study of radioactive contamination in insect species in Poland, Mietelski et al. [13,33] suggested the forest dung beetle as a suitable species for biomonitoring of radioactive contamination because it has high 137Cs concentrations compared to herbivores. The larvae of giant weevils feed on dead or decaying wood. It is possible that giant weevils have high levels 137Cs because decaying wood accumulates 137Cs because of the presence of wood-decaying fungi.

Among omnivorous insects, the camel cricket, Diestrammena ssp. had especially large CR values. This species is eats a wide variety of organic materials on the forest floor, including litter, fungi, and other invertebrate species. The CR values of detritivores and omnivores varied highly across sampling sites, likely indicating the nonuniform nature of 137Cs accumulation in fungi and decaying organic materials, as well as the varied diet of individual insect species [12,15].

137Cs transfer in the forest insect food web

In this study, litter and other forest components that were highly contaminated with 137Cs, such as fungi, decaying wood, bryophytes, and lichens were considered to be primary sources of 137Cs transfer into the forest insect community. Detritivores showed higher 137Cs accumulation than herbivores, confirming that uptake of 137Cs into insect ecosystems occurs through the detritus-based food chain and not through the plant-based food chain as previous studies have suggested [6,7].

With regard to 137Cs transfer through trophic levels, 137Cs activity concentrations of carnivorous insects were higher than those of herbivores but not higher than those of detritivores. Because carnivorous insects were represented by ground-dwelling beetles in this study, a significant proportion of their diet might have comprised detritivorous organisms. Therefore, this result might indicate a decrease in 137Cs activity concentrations in carnivores compared with that in detritivores. Rudge et al. [8] reported similar findings in a study of grassland invertebrate communities in the United Kingdom after the Chernobyl accident and suggested that 137Cs activity concentrations decrease up the food chain. Using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis of organisms in a terrestrial and stream ecosystem, Sakai et al. (2016) likewise observed dilution of 137Cs as it moved from lower to higher trophic levels [7]. These findings are the opposite of what has been observed regarding the bioaccumulation of 137C in fish species. In general, fish species at higher trophic levels will have higher activity concentrations of radiocesium than those farther down the food chain [34,35].

Our results do not provide clear evidence to support the idea of dilution of radiocesium as it moves up the food chain because we did not collect insect species that had a direct predator–prey relationship and because our measurements possibly overestimated the 137Cs activity concentrations in detritivores. We measured insect whole-body 137Cs activity concentrations similar to the reported insect 137Cs activity concentrations in previous studies because of the difficulty in collecting sufficient biomass for 137Cs measurements from dissected individual tissue types [8,1217]. Thus, the high 137Cs concentrations measured in detritivorous insects may have been partly due to the presence of highly contaminated organic matter and soils in the digestive systems of sampled insects. Mietelski et al. (2003) found that measurement of 137Cs in dung beetles could be influenced by food remains in the digestive system. In addition, studies on the assimilation of radiocesium by earthworms have shown that little absorption occurs from contaminated gut contents [36], with radioactivity concentrations in earthworm tissues being far lower than those in the gut [8,37]. However, 137Cs activity concentrations of fish typically have been measured in dissected muscular tissues, so there was no contamination by gut contents. Therefore, the overestimation of 137Cs activity concentrations of whole-body samples should be taken into account when evaluating the 137Cs transfer through the detritus-based food chain and accumulation/dilution of 137Cs. Future studies that focus on137Cs activity concentrations in predator–prey relationships and on the bioavailability of soil-associated and litter-associated 137Cs for tissue incorporation will lead to better understanding of the transfer of 137Cs through the food web.

137Cs contaminations of arthropods are expected to gradually decrease as 137Cs decline activity concentrations in forest litter [3]. Because most herbivorous insect species have a reproductive cycle of 1 year or less, their 137Cs activity concentrations should reflect the level of contamination of their diet of the year in which they reproduced. In other functional feeding groups, members of some species may live for several years; for example, the life expectancy of Carabidae adults is 1 to 4 years. However, in the invertebrates that constitute their diet, the biological half-life of 137Cs is typically several days to a month [32]. Thus, the radiocesium concentration in insects of this species would also reflect the current contamination levels of the organisms that constitute their diet.

Conclusions

Understanding the movement of 137Cs through ecosystems is essential for the management of radiation contamination and risk assessment in forest environments. This study investigated 137Cs transfer in forest insect communities in areas contaminated by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident. The results showed that 137Cs activity concentrations were lowest in herbivores and highest in carnivores, detritivores, and omnivores. The level of contamination in each of the four functional feeding groups of insects reflected the level of contamination of the materials and organisms that constitute their diets. Detritorivorous species had the highest levels of contamination, confirming findings of previous studies that these species play a significant role in 137Cs transfer into the forest ecosystem via consumption of highly contaminated forest litter. The nonuniform distribution of 137Cs in the forest environment is not only because of litter but also because of other forest components that may have high levels of 137Cs contamination, including fungi, decaying wood, bryophytes, and lichens. Insect species that have high CR values or that live in highly contaminated substrates, such as dung beetles, camel crickets, and lichen moths, would be appropriate species for monitoring radiocesium activity concentrations or for studies of radiation effects on wildlife.

Supporting Information

S1 Table. Details of samples of forest components.

137Cs values and counting errors are shown.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.s001

(XLSX)

S2 Table. Details of samples of insect components.

137Cs values and counting errors are shown.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171133.s002

(XLSX)

Acknowledgments

We thank M Takeda for insect sampling, identification, and technical advice about their ecology and Dr. K Hosaka and Dr. A Takenaka for identifying samples of fungi and plants, respectively.

Author Contributions

  1. Conceptualization: YI SH NT.
  2. Formal analysis: YI.
  3. Investigation: YI.
  4. Writing – original draft: YI.
  5. Writing – review & editing: SH NT.

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26. Endo I, Ohte N, Iseda K, Tanoi K, Hirose A, Kobayashi NI, et al. Estimation of radioactive 137-cesium transportation by litterfall, stemflow and throughfall in the forests of Fukushima. J Environ Radioact. Elsevier Ltd; 2015;149: 176–185.

27. Steiner M, Linkov I, Yoshida S. The role of fungi in the transfer and cycling of radionuclides in forest ecosystems. J Environ Radioact. 2002;58: 217–241. pmid:11814167

28. Giovani C, Nimis PL, Bolognini G, Padovani R, Usco A. Bryophytes as indicators of radiocesium deposition in northeastern Italy. Sci Total Environ. 1994;157: 35–43.

29. Dohi T, Ohmura Y, Kashiwadani H, Fujiwara K, Sakamoto Y, Iijima K. Radiocaesium activity concentrations in parmelioid lichens within a 60 km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. J Environ Radioact. Elsevier Ltd; 2015;146: 125–133.

30. Ohmura Y, Matsukura K, Abe JP, Hosaka K, Tamaoki M, Dohi T, et al. 137Cs concentrations in foliose lichens within Tsukuba-city as a reflection of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. J Environ Radioact. Elsevier Ltd; 2015;141: 38–43.

31. Koarashi J, Atarashi-Andoh M, Takeuchi E, Nishimura S. Topographic heterogeneity effect on the accumulation of Fukushima-derived radiocesium on forest floor driven by biologically mediated processes. Sci Rep. 2014;4: 6853. doi: 10.1038/srep06853. pmid:25358420

32. Gaso MI, Cervantes ML, Segovia N, Abascal F, Salazar S. Cs and Ra determination in soil and land snails from a radioactive waste site. Sci Total Environ. 1995;173: 41–45.

33. Mietelski JW, Szwa P, Tomankiewicz E, Gaca P, Ma S, Barszcz J, et al. 137Cs, 40K, 90Sr, 238, 239+240Pu, 241Am and 243 + 244 Cm in forest litter and their transfer to some species of insects and plants in boreal forests: Three case studies. 2004;262: 645–660.

34. Rowan DJ, Rasmussen JB. Bioaccumulation of Radiocesium by fish: the influence of physicochemical factors and trophic structure. Can J Fish Aquat Sci. 1994;51: 2388–2410.

35. Sundbom M, Meili M, Andersson E, Ostlund M, Broberg a. Long-term dynamics of Chernobyl Cs-137 in freshwater fish: quantifying the effect of body size and trophic level. J Appl Ecol. 2003;40: 228–240.

36. Brown SL, Bell JNB. Earthworms and radionuclides, with experimental investigations on the uptake and exchangeability of radiocaesium. Environ Pollut. 1995;88: 27–39. pmid:15091566

37. Hasegawa M, Ito MT, Kaneko S, Kiyono Y, Ikeda S, Makino S. Radiocesium concentrations in epigeic earthworms at various distances from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant 6 months after the 2011 accident. J Environ Radioact. Elsevier Ltd; 2013;126: 8–13.

Source :

Citation: Ishii Y, Hayashi S, Takamura N (2017) Radiocesium Transfer in Forest Insect Communities after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0171133. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171133

Editor: Hideyuki Doi, University of Hyogo, JAPAN

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171133

 

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

January 27 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “States Expected To Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future” • In Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback is eyeing new wind farms to bring jobs and economic growth. And Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich says the state needs to support renewable energy to stay competitive and reduce the cost of electricity. [Huffington Post]

Hawaii (The Associated Press) Solar power in Hawaii (The Associated Press)

Science and Technology:

¶ Eos Energy Storage announced a partnership with Siemens on storage solutions. The Eos Aurora 1000│4000, a 1-MW/4-MWh DC battery system, is being sold at $160 per usable kWh for the full DC system with performance guarantees that support up to 20 years of continuous operation with low maintenance. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ 2016 was the hottest year in 137 years of record keeping and the third year in a row to take the number one slot, a mark of how much the…

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January 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

STOP Sizewell C – consultation ends on 3rd Feb -please write

There is a consultation going on for three new reactors in Suffolk.  These would be next to the already dangerous situation at Sizewell. There is a letter below from Radiation Free Lakeland –…

Source: STOP Sizewell C – consultation ends on 3rd Feb -please write

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Rip and Ship; Radioactive Waste Dilution- Lethal Underbelly of Private Nuclear Waste Revealed in US Lawsuit Against Trump Large Donor’s Corp.; Comment Deadline Friday 11.59 pm ET= NY-DC Time

Mining Awareness +

Private Nuclear Waste “Interim” Storage Facility Comment by Friday, 27 Jan. 2017, 11.59 PM Eastern Time(NY-Boston-DC-Atlanta, Miami, etc.) This is one minute till midnight; one minute till Saturday. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3256 ID: DOE_FRDOC_0001-3256. It is easy and can still be anonymous. It is important for the public record. It says that there have been no comments but there have actually been two: https://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/private-isf

As one feisty and intelligent response points out:
Then, there is the interesting aspect of private enterprise being used to “safely store” the waste. Gee, do we have any examples of for-profit companies cutting corners? Do they ever go bankrupt and cease operations? Do they ever leave the general public holding the bag for poisoned, played-out mines? Do they ever fail in due diligence on safety matters? Bhopal, for instance, comes to mind. For how long could we trust a private company to care…

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January 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO reinserts camera in Fukushima reactor 2

27 jan 2017.jpg

What appears to be rust is seen on a foothold inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in this image provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

 

TEPCO reinserts camera in Fukushima reactor

TEPCO, the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has again begun using a camera probe inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor.
Taking pictures of the molten fuel inside is regarded as an important step towards decommissioning the reactors that melted down.
On Tuesday, workers at the plant tried to insert a camera into a pipe leading into the containment vessel.
But the camera got stuck in the pipe’s opening. The rubber, which had shrunk due to cold, blocked it.
In a second attempt on Thursday, workers tried to push the camera into the pipe while warming the rubber with thermal material. They were successful.
Footage from the camera shows a black substance adhering to the surface of metal rails in the vessel. The rails will be used as tracks for a robot to do a survey in February.
TEPCO expects the camera may capture footage of molten fuel for the first time since the 2011 meltdown

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170126_31/

TEPCO begins taking video inside Fukushima No. 1 nuke plant reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) began work on Jan. 26 to take video inside the No. 2 reactor at its tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, company officials said.

A camera attached to the tip of a pipe was inserted into the reactor containment vessel to shoot video inside of the vessel to check the condition of the melted fuel within. It was also done in preparation for sending in a camera-equipped robot to get a closer look at conditions. The robot will follow 7.2-meter-long rails leading to an area just below the reactor’s pressure vessel.

Video released by TEPCO on Jan. 26 shows dripping liquid and what appears to be steam drifting inside the containment vessel. What looks like rust is seen on a foothold and the rails, but nothing that could block the robot has been found.

TEPCO is poised to use a longer pipe to check if there is any obstacle inside the reactor next week and beyond. Company officials said the firm may be able to photograph the melted fuel.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170127/p2a/00m/0na/002000c

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Climate and nuclear news, in this last week of January

a-cat-CANMuch as I hate joining the throng paying attention to that global narcissist, I must admit the fact that Donald Trump’s statements and actions are provoking reactions in America and around the world. On many important issues, such as torture, and religious discrimination, people are responding with alarm. Equally worrying are his policies on  climate and nuclear matters, and his attacks on science and journalism.

I am reminded of a kindergarten teacher, explaining the real message of a child’s bad behaviour “How bad to I have to be before somebody stops me”

I did get some macabre amusement from this news item- Under Trump, nuclear lobby to dump the argument about climate change.

Thanks to Donald Trump, the Doomsday Clock ticks closer to apocalypse

Strong business case to go 100 % renewable – leading global companies

Sea level rise more rapid than expected.

EUROPE. Europe and northern hemisphere warming fast: Europe faces droughts, floods

USA.

JAPAN. Plans to remove nuclear fuel at Fukushima N° 3 reactor delayed again.  Radiation Measured 16μSv/h at Ground Level in Namie-cho, Fukushima. On February 14, Toshiba will reveal extent of U.S. nuclear business writedown.

UK. Another British nuclear mishap kept secret – the Scottish cold war nuclear submarine collision.  Theresa May kept quiet, but SHE KNEW about the test missile mishap. With election coming, British government covered up serious missile test incident.Trident whistleblower tells RT he ‘witnessed 4 unreported missile test failures

Nuclear energy corporation EDF lobbies UK govt to weaken safety rules. Toshiba desperately seeking funding for UK nuclear project, seeks tax-payer subsidy.

CHINA. China’s new nuclear missile deployment – in response to Donald Trump?    China deploys nuclear missiles to the Russia-China border in the northeast Heilongjiang province.

PAKISTAN. Pakistan test-fires nuclear missile capable of hitting multiple targets

FRANCE. Closure of Fessenheim nuclear plant approved by EDF

SOUTH KOREA. South Koreans alarmed about nuclear weapons – uncertainty about Donald Trump.

CHILE. Chilean Wildfires are Worst to Ever Strike the Country

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Across America’s heartland, Democrats and Republicans embrace renewable energy

text-relevantClean Energy Is a Heartland
Value https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rhea-suh/clean-energy-heartland-value 
 

When it comes to supporting renewables, blue and red make green.

Among a dwindling number of politicians at the national level, there’s a pretend debate going on. Using all the scare tactics and rhetorical tricks they can muster, some apologists for the fossil fuel status quo would have you believe that we, as a nation, are divided about whether or not to move forward aggressively with clean, renewable energy like wind and solar.

But the simple truth is that there is no debate: The national verdict on renewables is already in. However they may have voted in the presidential election, Americans—of all political stripes, in red states and blue ones—are overwhelmingly voting yes on clean energy. Whether it’s because it’s good for the economy, the environment, consumers, or all three, citizens and their elected officials at the state level are throwing their full support behind the next energy revolution.

renewables-not-nukes

For evidence of clean energy’s bipartisan and cross-cultural appeal, one need look no further than the American heartland—the same part of the country that gave Donald Trump his victory—where governors, legislatures, and voters have come to see investment in renewables as something to be embraced wholeheartedly and unequivocally. In the weeks just after the election, while many of us were nervously wondering what our national energy policy would look like under a President Trump and a Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, three of these states undertook significant measures to protect, or even improve, their efficiency and renewable energy standards.

In Michigan last month, a legislative package that began its life as an attempt by some lawmakers to roll back the state’s clean energy goals ended up being transformed into a set of bills that not only preserves them, but actually makes them stronger. Just before Christmas—and after much bipartisan negotiating—Republican Governor Rick Snyder personally inserted himself into the debate and ultimately sealed the deal by putting his signature on laws that will increase Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio standard from 10 percent to 15 percent while simultaneously fostering greater efficiency.

In Illinois, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed the Future Energy Jobs Bill, passed by his state’s Democrat-controlled legislature and designed, among other things, to ensure that more than $200 million a year gets channeled into renewable energy investment. Under the new law, the state’s largest electric utility will also increase efficiency to reduce demand from customers by more than 20 percent by the year 2030. Both measures will greatly help Illinois reach its goal of getting a quarter of its energy from renewables by 2025.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Governor John Kasich has just defied members of his own party by vetoing a bill that would have continued a deplorably cynical freeze on the state’s move toward renewable energy. In defending his veto, the Republican and 2016 presidential candidate cited the economic harm that would befall his state were it to abandon its sizable investments in the clean energy sector, which currently employs nearly 90,000 Ohioans.

Each of these happy developments represents another forceful refutation of all the shopworn clichés about clean energy: that it’s practically unfeasible, for instance, or that it’s somehow inimical to job growth, or that it’s something only tree huggers care about. More and more, these clichés are being revealed for what they are: desperate and outdated political posturing. Republicans in Washington, D.C., who stubbornly cling to them should take a lesson from their counterparts in heartland states—and not just the aforementioned ones, but also states like Texas and Iowa—and get with the program. If they don’t, they’re going to look even more out of touch with public sentiment than they already do.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Linda Gunter busts the spin of America’s “new nuclear” salesmen


gunter-linda-penceNuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/20/nuclear-fiddling-while-the-planet-burns/ 
 There is a climate crisis upon us. Polar ice is melting. Sea level rise is happening. Time is running out. Emergency solutions are the only option — energy supplies that can come on fast and sustainably.

Sadly, some in the U.S. Congress would rather bury their heads in radioactive quicksand, sinking our money into nuclear energy research at national laboratories that have sought but failed to find illusory atomic answers for decades.

The House and Senate are re-introducing near identical versions of the “Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017,” which promises to throw our money down the nuclear rabbit hole rather than direct major funding to renewable energy solutions that are already addressing climate change quickly and effectively but should be supported and accelerated before it’s too late.

The Act states as its purpose “To enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, and for other purposes.” It passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate.

In reality, it is another futile tilt at the so-called “advanced reactor” windmill, when real windmills would actually do the job far faster, more safely and cheaply and without all the attendant risks of tinkering with radioactive materials and perpetuating a deadly waste problem into eternity.

The bill states it would authorize research, modeling and simulation of “advanced nuclear reactor concepts” that are “inherently safe.” This chimera has been chased for decades and inherent safety won’t be found in the designs the national laboratories are pushing, such as the sodium-cooled reactor, proven to be literally explosive.

So-called new generation “fast reactors” are another old idea from an old research establishment, the Argonne National Laboratory, which would be delighted to be on the receiving end of this latest transfusion. Argonne’s first attempt at a fast neutron reactor was canceled by the U.S. Congress in 1994.

renew-world-1

A new documentary, The New Fire, (a singularly odd choice of title given the subject), celebrates the excitement of eager young scientists determined to invent the better nuclear mousetrap. But back in 1996 the National Academy of Sciencesalready acknowledged that the development of a reactor that could recycle its own waste would have very high costs and marginal benefits and would take hundreds of years — time we definitely do not have.

The thrill of theoretical experimentation in the laboratory may be exciting for young engineers. But they shouldn’t get our money. Nor should we hand these aspiring atomic alchemists the mandate to cure climate change. That race is already being won by renewable energy research and implementation. It is in this field where the real “innovation” lies and where Congress should be directing their mandate and funding dollars.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Another British nuclear mishap kept secret – the Scottish cold war nuclear submarine collision

exclamation-submarine,-nuclear-underwatScottish cold war nuclear submarine collision kept secret for 43 years
Documents published by CIA reveal crash between US and Soviet subs a few miles off coast of Scotland in 1974,
Guardian, , 26 Jan 17, Two nuclear submarines from rival sides in the cold war collided a few miles off the coast of Scotland in an incident that was covered up for 43 years.

The potentially catastrophic crash occurred in November 1974 when the SSBN James Madison, armed with 16 Poseidon nuclear missiles, was heading out of the US naval base at Holy Loch, 30 miles north-west of Glasgow.

Soon after leaving the port it hit an unidentified Soviet submarine that had been sent to tail it, according to a cable to then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, marked “secret eyes only” [pdf].

The cable, sent by national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, said: “Have just received word from the Pentagon that one of our Poseidon submarines has just collided with a Soviet submarine.

“The SSBN James Madison was departing Holy Loch to take up station when it collided with a Soviet submarine waiting outside the port to take up trail.

“Both submarines surfaced and the Soviet boat subsequently submerged again. There is no report yet of the extent of damage. Will keep you posted.”

The cable was published by the CIA on 17 January as part of a mass release of more than 12m pages of previously classified reports in 930,000 documents.

The cable corroborates an until-now unconfirmed report on the incident in the Washington Post on 1 January 1975 by the investigative journalist Jack Anderson. He reported that the collision left a 9ft scratch on the side of the James Madison and that the two submarines came within inches of sinking one another.

Another document marked “top secret” [pdf]released in the same batch expressed alarm that the news of the collision had leaked.

It said: “On 3 January, the NID [National Intelligence Daily] ran an item on the collision just off Holy Loch of US Polaris submarine and a Soviet attack submarine. Unfortunately, Jack Anderson had run the same news in the Washington Post a day or two earlier.

“This pre-emption on Anderson’s part forced the surfacing (no pun intended) of a piece of information in a current intelligence 2 months after the event occurred. …..

Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said the secret cable exposed the “enormous risks” of nuclear weapons.

“The history of nuclear weapons is a history of near misses, accidents, potential catastrophes and cover-ups. This latest example joins 25 other near misses that could have led to nuclear war.”

CND is calling for an inquiry into Trident, the successor to the Poseidon programme, after it emerged that a malfunctioning missile with the potential to carry a nuclear warhead was forced to self-destruct in mid-air off the US coast last June.

Hudson added: “These enormous risks have to be acknowledged particularly when we also now face the increasing likelihood of cyber-attack on nuclear weapons systems. With advancing technological developments added to the already dangerous mix there can be no confidence that nuclear weapons are a credible part of British security in the 21st century……… https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/nuclear-submarine-collision-cold-war-cia-scotland

January 27, 2017 Posted by | history, incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Largest Offshore Wind Project in America planned for New York

Offshore wind farm (Deepwater image)Flag-USAGovernor Cuomo Announces Approval of Largest text-relevantOffshore Wind Project in the Nation BY LONG ISLAND NEWS & PR  JANUARY 26 2017  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Board of Trustees of LIPA voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, and the first offshore wind farm in New York. Long Island, NY – January 25, 2017 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Power Authority voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, and the first offshore wind farm in New York. The approval of the South Fork Wind Farm, a 90 megawatt development 30 miles southeast of Montauk, is the first step toward developing an area that can host up to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.  The wind farm, which is out of sight from Long Island’s beaches, will provide enough electricity to power 50,000 Long Island homes with clean, renewable energy, and will help meet increasing electricity demand on the South Fork of Long Island.

The vote comes two weeks after Governor Cuomo called on LIPA to approve the wind farm project and announced an unprecedented commitment to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 in his regional State of the State address on Long Island. The 2.4 gigawatt target, which is enough power generation for 1.25 million homes, is the largest commitment to offshore wind energy in U.S. history, helping to bring this valuable resource to New Yorkers at a scale unmatched in the United States.“New York leads the nation in pioneering clean energy innovation, and this bold action marks the next step in our unprecedented commitment to offshore wind, as well as our ambitious long term energy goal of supplying half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change and help preserve our environment for current and future generations of New Yorkers.”

The LIPA Board approved a contract submitted by Deepwater Wind for the South Fork Wind Farm after a year-long process engaging the private sector for the best available clean energy generation ideas and detailed cost modeling.  Other elements of LIPA’s South Fork energy portfolio include transmission enhancements and additional clean energy solutions such as battery storage and consumer electricity demand reduction……..

Karl R. Rábago, Pace Energy and Climate Center said, “It is gratifying to see years of advocacy for clean energy development bearing fruit in such a spectacular fashion. And it is inspiring to have the leadership in New York that made it happen.”

Heather Leibowitz, Director, Environment New York said, “Offshore wind needs to be a significant part of the energy mix. It is key to putting the Empire State on a path toward an economy powered entirely by renewable energy. The 90-megawatts of energy produced off east Montauk will get us one step closer to this goal.”

Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association said, “The offshore wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind is an important step forward in building Long Island’s clean energy economy, creating new jobs in this industry and diversifying our fuel sources which is why the LIA has supported this project.”

John R. Durso, President, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said, “LIPA’s decision to enter into an agreement with Deepwater Wind is good news for the Long Island labor movement.  It is a first step in realizing the potential for a new American industry with Long Island at the epicenter.  We thank New York State for their commitment to our energy future, an opportunity which includes union jobs. We are excited to put our skilled workforce on the job.”

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 730 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor’s $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NYhttp://www.longisland.com/news/01-25-17/cuomo-largest-offshore-wind-project-li-approved.html

January 27, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

China’s new nuclear missile deployment – in response to Donald Trump?

missiles s korea museumflag-ChinaChina ‘deploys missiles’ amid calls for more nuclear weapons to deter Donald Trump   Telegraph UK Beijing 25 JANUARY 2017                                                               

  Beijing is moving advanced ballistic missiles which are capable of hitting the US to its north-eastern frontier with Russia, according to media reports, amid suggestions that the weapons were revealed in response to Donald Trump’s “provocative remarks” towards China……..

The state-run Global Times newspaper, which has close links with China’s Communist leaders, said: “Some media claimed that the Chinese military intentionally revealed the Dongfeng-41 and connected it with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“They think this is Beijing’s response to Trump’s provocative remarks on China,” added the outlet, which is known for taking a strongly nationalist tone and making inflammatory comments.

The newspaper also called for a ramping up of China’s nuclear capabilities, saying: “China’s nuclear arsenal must be able to deter the US.”

“Even Washington feels that its naval forces and nuclear strength are lacking,” it added. “So how can China be content with its current nuclear strength when it is viewed by the US as its biggest potential opponent?”

The reported deployment comes after Mr Trump has angered China with his stance on Taiwan, trade and security – particularly in the South China Sea. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/25/china-deploys-missiles-amid-calls-nuclear-weapons-deter-donald/

January 27, 2017 Posted by | China, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

American scientists are now organizing their own march on Washington

trump-anti-scienceScientists are planning their own march on Washington http://usuncut.com/resistance/scientists-plan-march-washington/  Scientists are now organizing their own mass march, demanding the new administration respect science and heed their warnings about climate change.

The idea of a scientists’ march on Washington began in earnest on Reddit, with scientific professionals discussing how to best make their voices heard with respect to getting President Trump to heed their warnings on climate change. Scientific redditors then decided to put out a call to action for all scientists and anyone who supports empirical science to come together in Washington, DC after seeing the resounding success of the historic Women’s March on Washington and around the country.

“This isn’t just about jobs to us, if we cared about money we wouldn’t be in this field in the first place. This is about the future of every organism on earth, many that haven’t even been born yet,” wrote Reddit user RetardCharizard. “We have to fight.”

Caroline Weinberg, a public health researcher, told the Washington Post that the Trump administration’s gag orders on government agencies that study climate change and how it affects the U.S. was the last straw.

“We were inspired (well, infuriated) by the current attacks on science from the new administration,” Weinberg wrote in an email to the Post. “Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy.”

A Twitter account for the march has already been launched, and says a date announcement is forthcoming.

January 27, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Strong business case to go 100 % renewable – leading global companies

text-relevantLEADING COMPANIES MAKE BUSINESS CASE TO GO 100% RENEWABLE, The Climate Group, 24 Jan 17 Ilario D’Amato LONDON: Leading global companies have confirmed the strong business case for sourcing 100% renewable electricity in the newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017.

RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who are setting targets to go 100% renewable energy in their electricity procurement,” says Jim WalkerCo-Founder of The Climate Group.

Growing rapidly, RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognized businesses like IKEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Tata Motors.

The report shows how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hour (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands.

“Why are companies doing this? The cost of energy is coming down, rapidly,” continues Jim Walker in a video produced by CBS EcoMedia. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility and the price of your energy supply, you are generating your own electrons and you are buying it from yourself – you don’t have to buy it at a retail price, so it’s cheaper. Just makes good business sense. Also, it’s just the right thing to do – contributing to better air quality.”

34 RE100 members have reported that they are generating renewable energy at their facilities – with wind and solar photovoltaics clearly the most popular technologies.

“We did a deal with a Texas wind farm,” confirms Nick GunnSVPGlobal Corporate ServicesHewlett Packard Enterprise: “We’re procuring now 112 megawatts of power from wind farms, which is actually enough to provide enough electricity for our entire IT infrastructure.”

“Businesses have a huge impact on the ability to inspire an energy revolution. The more companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise demand renewable energy, the more creation of renewable energy sources there will be.

The company has the goal of raising the use of renewable energy from its current levels of 13% globally to 40% by 2020, with the ultimate target of achieving 100%. Its strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, while both generating on-site clean energy and purchasing it through agreements with off-site.

“RE100 importance lies in two factors,” says Rachel KyteCEO of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “One is that the purchasing of renewable energy in the long run positions companies to be at the leading edge of their own sector of industry. On the second hand, its importance lies in the message that sends to the financial sector.”    “OUR HOPE IS THAT RE100 JUST BECOMES THE NORM. BY 2020, THIS IS WHAT EVERY BUSINESS DOES.”

Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, The Climate Group………https://www.theclimategroup.org/news/leading-companies-make-business-case-go-100-renewable

January 27, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment