In one day, a group of 200 hackers, coders, and students saved 8,404 NASA and DOE webpages onto the Internet Archive and downloaded 25 gigabytes from 101 public datasets.
Access to this valuable information is essential if we want to continue to make scientific progress, especially in the field of climate research.
Baggers and Taggers
With pages of climate-related documents and other environmental issues quickly disappearing from government websites, hackers, students, and scientists have decided to take it upon themselves to salvage the information that still remains. Groups in more than 20 cities have embarked upon the task of collecting this valuable data and saving it outside of government servers. This weekend, a group of 200 hackers, coders, and students from the University of California, Berkeley decided to go even further.
Organized by groups like DataRefuge and the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, the UC Berkeley hackathon on Saturday didn’t just collect data from NASA’s Earth sciences programs and the Department of Energy. They also started building robust systems to monitor whatever changes might occur in these sites in the future and keep track of what’s already been removed.
Their task was two-fold. Half of the group, the “taggers,” placed web crawlers on easily copied government webpages and sent their text to the Internet Archive as digital copies. Another group, the “baggers,” worked on the more data-intensive websites. Using custom scripts, they scraped complicated data sets from these federal websites, and as with most worthwhile tasks, collecting data from these pages wasn’t easy. “All these systems were written piecemeal over the course of 30 years. There’s no coherent philosophy to providing data on these websites,” Daniel Roesler, CTO at UtilityAPI and a volunteer guide for the UC Berkeley baggers, explained to Wired.
By the end of Saturday, the effort collectively loaded 8,404 NASA and DOE webpages onto the Internet Archive and downloaded 25 gigabytes from 101 public datasets. But more work needs to be done, and the organizers know this, so they plan to work on building tools to continually track and monitor similar websites. “Climate change data is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Eric Kansa from the non-profit group Open Context. “There are a huge number of other datasets being threatened with cultural, historical, sociological information.”
Right now, scientists are working hard to achieve breakthroughs in numerous fields that will completely transform our world. They’re trying to figure out how to put people on Mars, build supercomputers, produce clean energy, and so much more. Key to making progress on any of these fronts is access to information and the ability to communicate with their fellow researchers. By archiving this important data, individuals like those at the UC Berkeley hackathon are helping the scientific community stay on course at a time when the obstacles faced may seem insurmountable.
This documentary is in French and English with subtitles. It is really worth a view and shows how the French nuclear military had little regard for their servicemen and even less regard for the indigenous people who lived on the Islands
Image Candyce and Marius Paul on their tribal lands
Come on a journey to the land of the English River Nation, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Earth Matters speaks to Candyce Paul, member of the English River Nation, and spokesperson for the Committee for Future Generations. Topics include the dirty tactics of the nuclear industry worldwide and the wisdom of Dene ecology in these times of environmental crisis.
Concerns have been raised by environmentalists and atomic power experts over the way waste is being stored at Europe’s largest nuclear power station, in crisis-ridden Ukraine.
More than 3,000 spent nuclear fuel rods are kept inside metal casks within towering concrete containers in an open-air yard close to a perimeter fence at Zaporizhia, the Guardian discovered on a recent visit to the plant, which is 124 miles (200km) from the current front line.
“With a war around the corner, it is shocking that the spent fuel rod containers are standing under the open sky, with just a metal gate and some security guards waltzing up and down for protection,” said Patricia Lorenz, a Friends of the Earth nuclear spokeswoman who visited the plant on a fact-finding mission.
“I have never seen anything like it,” she added. “It is unheard of when, in Germany, interim storage operators have been ordered by the court to terror-proof their casks with roofs and reinforced walls.”
Industry experts said that ideally the waste store would have a secondary containment system such as a roof.
Ukraine’s conflict in Donbass is 124 miles away from the plant, but Gustav Gressel, a fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations thinks the front line is too far away – for now – to be at risk from fighting.
However, locals still fear for the potential consequences if the conflict was to spread in the plant’s direction. Just three decades ago, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant north of Kiev released a radioactive cloud that poisoned vast tracts of land.
“People are scared because the conflict zone is quite near,” Vasiliy Ivanovic, a former policeman turned environmental volunteer told the Guardian. “If Putin wants to connect Russia to the Crimea, the route goes through Mariupol. The Russian troops are already near there, and they have missiles that could hit the power plant.”
Any separatist offensive in the region could threaten the Zaporizhia plant because of Russian military tactics. Initial barrages against frontline positions are often followed with bombardments of possible lines of defence.
“The Russians use a large amount of multiple rocket-propelled systems that are not entirely precise, and they don’t really care where they land,” said Gressel.
The Zaporizhia plant might itself be used as a defensive position by fleeing Ukrainian soldiers he said, adding: “Of course, there could be a natural disaster if the fighting comes there.”
Plant security at Zaporizhia is now at a ‘high readiness’ level, while air force protection and training exercises have been stepped up. Officials say that if fighting reaches the plant, there are plans for the closure of access roads and deployment of soldiers.
But they say that no containment design could take the stresses of military conflict into account. “Given the current state of warfare, I cannot say what could be done to completely protect installations from attack, except to build them on Mars,” Sergiy Bozhko, the chairman of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) told the Guardian.
“Ukraine’s plan is to withstand and win,” he added.
Zaporizhia’s storage unit was built to a US design specification that involved rigorous testing for the possibility of a terrorist attack.
The US Sandia Lab tests considered scenarios up to airliner impact, although the results remain classified, Neil Hyatt, a professor of radioactive waste management at Sheffield University, told the Guardian.
However, a dry storage container with a resilient roof and in-house ventilation would offer greater protection from missile bombardment, he said – so long as the structure was designed that way from the start. “You would need to prepare adequate foundations to accommodate the substantive structure required, so I doubt this could be retrofitted at Zaporoizhia with the casks in place,” Hyatt said. “You would need to build a [new] purpose structure and then move the casks to the structure.”
Antony Froggatt, a senior research fellow and European nuclear specialist at Chatham House agreed that a secondary containment system would offer greater protection from internal or external explosions.
“It is obvious that if you do not have an array of dry cast [interim] stores with secondary containment around it, then that will have a greater risk of release of radioactive material,” he said.
But installing these would “be a very expensive decision,” according to Nikolai Steinberg, a prominent Ukrainian nuclear expert and former energy vice-minister. “I think it is not necessary,” he said.
Sources at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) told the Guardian that any funding request from Ukraine for such a structure would be seriously considered. The bank has already made €300m available for nuclear lifetime extension programmes in Ukraine, before the regulators have even signed off on them.
A pall was cast over security arrangements at Zaporizhia last May when the plant was the scene of an armed confrontation between security guards and paramilitaries from the ultra-nationalist ‘right sector’, which is allied with neo-Nazi groups. The gunmen reportedly wanted to ‘protect’ the plant from pro-Russian forces, but were stopped by guards at a checkpoint.
“We have several risky nuclear materials [at Zaporizhia],” said Sergei Shegin, the plant’s chief reactor specialist. “As well as the reactors, we have spent nuclear fuel and all possible measures should be taken. As technical specialists, we know about the weak links in the plant [security], and there are some. But I doubt that these should be disclosed.”
Around 770,000 people live in the city of Zaporizhia and safety issues have risen to the fore among local people. Most support the reactor for the jobs it provides, but environmental concerns have grown since a plant shutdown in December amid rumours of a radiation leak, which were denied by the company.
The share of Ukrainian electricity provided by nuclear rose by around 10% in the last year, as conflict in the Donbass region threw Russian gas supplies into doubt.
Coal supplies too had to be tortuously re-routed from Ukraine’s east through Russia, to keep up a pretence they are being sourced internationally and avoid the impression of buying energy direct from the separatist rebels who are fighting Ukrainian soldiers.
As a result, uranium fuel supplies are fast becoming a new east-west battlefield in the post-Soviet great energy game.
“Nuclear energy is the only possible option for us to replace the generated electricity that we lost [from coal and gas],” a government source told the Guardian. “After the start of open war with Russia, it was understood that all our other strategies in the energy sphere would become impossible.”
Some 60% of Ukraine’s electricity is now produced by 15 ageing reactors – concentrated in four giant plants. Nine of these will reach the end of their design lifetimes in the next five years, and three have already.
Most of Ukraine’s nuclear fleet depends on Russia’s Rosatom to supply its enriched uranium fuel – and to whisk away the resulting radioactive waste for storage.
“Nuclear fuel is the only sphere in which cooperation remains friendly, constructive and successful because Ukraine is one of Russia’s biggest clients,” said Roman Rukomeda, a political analyst. “It is an issue of money.”
But as fear and loathing in the war-torn region grow, government sources say that in the long term, Ukraine aims to forge a three-way split in nuclear fuel supply contracts between US-company Westinghouse, European companies, such as Areva, and Rosatom. This creates its own safety issues.
One key Ukrainian reactor will be mothballed next month, until concerns about nuclear fuel provided by Westinghouse have been resolved.
The 1,000MW Chernobyl-era reactor in the South Ukraine plant was last week denied a lifetime extension until the state energy company, Energoatom, provides data to the SNRIU nuclear watchdog about Westinghouse fuel trials, operations and core reactor conditions afterwards.
The regulator listed several other safety limitations and deficiencies brought on by the plant’s ageing components, including 33 ‘deviations’ from current nuclear and radiation safety norms.
With war and an energy tilt to the West narrowing energy security options though, the shutdown is expected to be short-lived.
Security sources say that Rosatom may remain Kiev’s biggest single partner but it will definitely lose its monopoly in the years ahead, and Westinghouse’s share of uranium fuel supplies will grow.
But fears of Russian retaliation have dogged past plans to shift supply or disposal contracts to the West, and market diversification will be a slow process.
“There is always a threat that it can become a political issue and Russia could stop their contracts,” one source said. “The Americans are proposing that their company Westinghouse substitute for Rosatom, but warning us that it will take one or two years to produce the fuel, so we will need at least one year’s supply in storage.”
The US has provided technology, training and hundreds of millions of dollars to help Ukraine’s push for fuel diversification, according to a US diplomatic cable from 2009, published by Wikileaks.
Westinghouse has also lobbied the Ukrainian government at ministerial level to commit to buying their fuel for at least five reactors. Plant managers say that it will be used in Zaporizhia by 2017.
But local people in the reactor’s shadow say they fear the consequences of a patched up Soviet-era plant cranking up to generate electricity into the 2020s.
“History teaches us that history doesn’t teach us anything,” Ivanovic said. “Another catastrophe could happen again.”
At first glance, a uranium sales deal between the country that fuelled Fukushima and the one that gave the world Chernobyl doesn’t sound like a good idea.
And all the subsequent glances confirm that it’s not.
There are serious and unresolved nuclear security, safety and governance concerns with the plan — putting more unstable nuclear material into a deeply politically unstable part of the world, that is experiencing active armed conflict, is force-feeding risk.
In a recent ABC report, the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Dr Mykola Kulinich, observed that the renewed violence in Ukraine could be a “precursor to something much worse”.
The assumptions about safety and safeguards underpinning the proposed sales plan have not been tested, while the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) National Interest Analysis (NIA) was deeply deficient.
In relation to key safeguards and security concerns and the implications of the Russian conflict, the NIA noted that:
‘ … political tensions currently exist between Ukraine and Russia’.
This banal assessment completely fails to recognise or reflect the gravity of the situation.
Unlike DFAT, Dr Kulinich was clear:
‘There is a war in the middle of Europe right now…’
The ABC report concludes with an assessment of the current conflict that should be required reading for Australia’s atomic decision makers:
‘It is small, it is relatively contained. But it could spread by accident or design. And even far away Australia may not be immune to what could come next.’
In addition to the present conflict, historical experience would also suggest a cautionary approach.
Three decades ago, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster spread fallout over large swathes of eastern and western Europe and five million people still live in contaminated areas in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
Serious containment and waste management issues remain at Chernobyl with a massive new concrete shield the latest attempt to enclose the stricken reactor complex and reduce the chances of further radioactive releases.
Against this backdrop, there are deep concerns over those parts of the Ukrainian nuclear sector that are not yet infamous names — including very real security concerns about nuclear facilities being targeted in the current conflict with Russia.
The Zaporizhia nuclear facility is Europe’s largest and is only 200 kilometres from the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. Some commentators have described nuclear plants in the region as pre-deployed nuclear targets and there have already been armed incursions during the recent conflict period.
This threat is more than a theoretical possibility. In September 2016, a report in The Times documented concerns about high level Russian plans to destabilise the Zaporizhia administrative region.
Earlier acts of apparent sabotage have already seen the dangerous practise of emergency power unloading at nuclear power plants in Ukraine — including the Zaporozhskaya and South Ukrainian reactors.
Australia has already suspended uranium sales to Russia and it makes scant political or security sense to now start selling uranium to Ukraine. Along with security concerns, there are serious and unresolved safety and governance issues with the proposed sales plan.
The Treaties Committee’s report found:
‘Australian nuclear material should never be placed in a situation where there is a risk that regulatory control of the material will be lost.’
Yet this could happen under the inadequate checks and balances that apply to exported Australian uranium.
The report clearly states the Australian Government must undertake a detailed and proper risk assessment and develop an effective contingency plan for the removal of “at risk” Australian nuclear material. There can be no justification for seeking to fast-track uranium sales based on this report.
Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors — four are currently running beyond their design lifetime, while a further six will reach this in 2020. Two-thirds of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors will then be past their use-by date.
When quizzed on this by the Parliamentary Committee, a senior DFAT bureaucrat attempted to reassure committee members by saying:
“Yes, they [Ukrainian authorities] are seeking to upgrade them [Ukrainian nuclear reactors] to 21st century standard.”
Oh, that’s okay then.
The current deeply contested series of license renewals, and the related European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) financing of a programme to upgrade safety features at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, has highlighted serious deficiencies in governance, operations and compliance with contemporary international standards.
On top of that, there is growing regional concern about the risks associated with the Poroshenko Administration’s focus on keeping the reactors running.
In rushing to extend operating licences, Ukraine is cutting process and safety corners and not complying with its obligations under the Espoo Convention — an international framework agreement around transboundary environmental impact assessment. In April 2013, the UN Espoo monitoring group found that licence renewals at the Rivne nuclear facility were not compliant with Espoo procedures.
In 2013, the Eastern Partnership, a leading East European civil society forum, declared the absence of environmental impact assessment for nuclear projects posed:
‘ … a severe threat to people both in Ukraine and in neighbouring states, including EU member states.’
Nearby nations, including the governments or Slovakia, Romania and Hungary, have formally and unsuccessfully called for Ukraine to provide further detail on its nuclear projects and to facilitate increased regional dialogue on this unresolved issue of concern.
These concerns have been amplified after a series of recent shutdowns, fires and safety concerns at Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
The Ukrainian Government’s response to continuing domestic and international disquiet over the operations of its nuclear sector was a 2015 decree preventing the national nuclear energy regulator from carrying out facility inspections on its own initiative.
This, coupled with increased pressure on industry whistleblowers and critics, has done nothing to address the real risks facing the nation’s ageing nuclear fleet.
None of these issues have been meaningfully identified, let alone addressed, in the treaty action or analysis to date.
Any plan to supply Australian uranium to such a fraught region deserves the highest level of scrutiny. Instead, we have tick-a-box paperwork, cut-and-paste assurances and a profound retreat from responsibility.
As usual, we are warned after the fact.
And of course, the IRSN will carefully avoid telling us who is responsible for this pollution.
Iodine-131, a radionuclide of artificial origin, was detected in January 2017 as traces in air at ground level in Europe. The first report refers to a detection carried out during the second week of January in the extreme north of Norway. Other detections of iodine-131 have been observed since in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain until the end of January.
Iodine-131 is a radionuclide with a short radioactive period (8.04 days). The detection of this short-lived radionuclide shows a relatively recent release.
The main company due to build UK’s ‘flagship’ nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant.
There simply is no case for a special case for nuclear. It can’t survive the market disciplines that other forms of generation have to achieve, there are better alternatives now available, and there’s no reason to subsidise it.
It would appear that the UK government’s nuclear power policy is taking another hit.
Toshiba’s financial state is so bad – as a result of the disastrous losses in its nuclear business in North America – that it was expected to announce today a $6.3 billion writedown.
In the event it decided to keep quiet for now, giving rise to speculation that the truth is even worse. After a disastrous few months for Toshiba’s investors, the company began the day with a further 9% fall, and the resignation of its chairman.
Toshiba was also expected announce today that it’s pulling out of the NuGen project, taking 60% of the funding for the three reactors planned for Moorside in Cumbria with it. That didn’t happen either – but it still looks very much on the cards.
Its official position is that it “remains committed” to the project. By way of clarification, Toshiba president Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters in Tokyo his firm was still involved “with the condition that we don’t take responsibility over construction work”. Or, presumably, financing.
By way of further clarification, a the company indicated that it was looking to sell its stake, but not yet. A spokesman also explained to the BBC that Toshiba had never actually committed to building the plant in the first place.
What it will take: billions, or rather tens of billions, of our money
Right on cue, stories have appeared in the press saying that government is thinking about or even “under pressure“ to inject huge amounts of taxpayers cash into the project in order to get it built.
Now let’s get this straight: If the UK government takes stake in these projects, it would be expensive. A 25% share in both NuGen and Anglesey could cost over £7 billion – and that’s before taking into account the cost overruns synonymous with nuclear projects.
This would still leave over £20bn other investment to find, but is a substantial commitment of public money. So it is worth spending a few moments to consider why direct government funding of these nuclear stations is such an eccentric and ill-conceived idea.
So why are they risky? Well, one of key reasons Toshiba is in such deep financial trouble is that its reactor design, the AP1000, has never been completed and operated, and is actually more costly and difficult to build that it thought. Its four AP1000 reactors now under construction in the US are ruinously late and over-budget.
Meanwhile the Japanese company Hitachi are planning to build the proposed plant in Anglesey. In their favour four actual ABWR reactors have been built, in Japan. The downside? Their reliability has been poor.
The 2011 accident at Fukushima closed down all Japanese reactors, but according to IAEA the load factor – the proportion of time the reactors were generating power – for those ABWRs in the period between 2007-11 had been below 50%.
Neither proposed plant is crying out as a good bet for a private investor. So why would it be a better investment for a government? Or for British taxpayers?
Solar, offshore wind, tidal power and heat networks would help with decarbonisation, are all capital intensive, and would have costs reduced for billpayers if government got involved. They would also likely value this kind of support.
So the only reason for this marked departure from normal economics is because the UK government considers that nuclear has a “crucial role“ in decarbonisation of the power sector.
Because their own (unpublished and therefore unverifiable by informed external experts) “analysis tells us that decarbonisation of the power sector can be achieved most cheaply, securely and reliably if nuclear remains a core part of the UK’s energy system.”
This is an increasingly contentious statement.
Alternatives – quicker, cheaper, cleaner
Other cheaper forms of low carbon power have had their funding stopped because “as costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies. We’re taking action to protect consumers”.
It lowers bills because the UK is currently part of the single EU market in electricity, something it appears UK government may be keen to retain as part of Brexit negotiations. But if we’re part of a single market we’ll need to stick to the market rules, and direct state funding of new nuclear power stations is not obviously compatible with that.
So the proposal to directly fund expensive nuclear, in addition to the direct costs, would sacrifice membership of the single market which saves hard-working families at least tens of pounds per year.
There simply is no case for a special case for nuclear.
If it can’t survive the market disciplines that other forms of generation have to achieve, there are better alternatives now available, and there’s no reason to subsidise it.
Award-winning journalist Karl Grossman shares insights on the Indian Point Closure agreement, the hidden manipulation tactics of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators, and gives us examples of how activists have successfully scuttled nuclear industry plans.
One picture is worth a thousand words… but a selfie with the nuclear football? Pictured: Trump cronie Richard DeAgazio (r in top photo) and the hapless aide-de-camp charged with carrying the nuclear launch codes (l in top photo – face obscured for security reasons). Lower picture shows hapless aide-de-camp carrying briefcase with the President’s nuclear launch codes into Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort. Guess which one of those two guys undoubtedly lost his elevated position in the world? (HINT: It probably wasn’t the guy on the right.)
Difficult to be innovative on the subject of Fukushima. Would we have already said everything for the last six years that the catastrophe is going on?
Well, no, with the film of Linda Bendali, “From Paris to Fukushima, the secrets of a catastrophe”, the subject of the attitude of nuclear France in March 2011 had never been approached from this angle: while Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced with nuclear fire became anti-nuclear, the Fillon government launched the heavy artillery to counter any vehemence of debate on this subject in France.
For the french Minister of Industry, Eric Besson, it was an just incident.Nicolas Sarkozy invited himself to Japan while he was not expected, to promote nuclear in the midst of the atomic crisis.And France pretended to help Japan by sending unusable or outdated products.
That said, this report has awakened in me an old anger, never really extinct since 1986, and you will not escape the comments that inspires me this report.
The lies of Tepco
At the beginning of the documentary, Tepco, champion of the lie and the unspoken is expressed by the voice of his spokesman Yuichi Okamura: “We never imagined that such an accident could happen. From the statistics, we calculated that the tsunami should not exceed 5 meters. Our forecasts were exceeded. “
He is then contradicted by the film director.I very much thank Linda Bendali for insisting that the report of the parliamentary inquiry commission on Fukushima gave as first conclusion that the Fukushima disaster was of human origin.Because few people understand the sequence of events and it is too often heard that “the Fukushima disaster was caused by the tsunami”.
Now, the real logical chain of events was this:
1) Irresponsibility: Tepco decides to build a nuclear power plant at sea level.
2) Stupidity: While seven tsunamis of 12 to 28 meters in height took place in Japan in the twentieth century, they decided to construct a protective dike of 5 m.
3) Corruption: Japan Nuclear Safety Organizations accept the construction project.
4) A natural event: a 15 m tsunami falls on the east coast of Honshu, and therefore on the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
In the documentary, the narrator assures that “IRSN is the first organization in the world to announce that the molten core has escaped from its confinement”.Indeed, listening to Jacques Repussard we get the impression that his institute communicated on this subject in March 2011.
Yet the Japanese government had already received a report from the IAEA on June 7 recognizing the possibility of perforations in the tanks of reactors 1 to 3 …
No seriously. The first organization that announced the me of the three cores is Tepco, on 24 May 2011. And the IRSN announced it the next day.Previously, IRSN never wrote anything else, for reactors 1, 2 and 3, that “The injection of fresh water continues.The flow rate of the water injection is adjusted in order to ensure the cooling of the core, which remains partially depleted. “
That’s the story, that’s how it happened. IRSN never said that before anyone.The IRSN respected the omerta on the total meltdown of the three hearts like all the actors of the nuclear world and obediently waited for Tepco to announce the reality to acquiesce, no matter what Jacques Repussard is saying now six years later.
The Naoto Kan myth
The image of the then Prime Minister of Japan is to be nuanced. After seeing the documentary, it seems as though Naoto Kan acted as hero.It must also be admitted that he made several errors:
– Naoto Kan went to the Fukushima Daiichi plant in full crisis and greatly disturbed the ongoing management of the ongoing crisis. Director Masao Yoshida was asked to explain and explain what he was doing, wasting precious time on those who tried to solve problems one by one(It was just before the explosions of No. 2 and No. 4!).The documentary suggests that Masao Yoshida was going to leave the nuclear plant with all the workers, and that through Kan’s intervention they were forced to stay.It’s not true. Tepco may have intended to leave the ship, but the plant’s director denied any plan to abandon the site.
– The documentary shows Naoto Kan kneeling before Nicolas Sarkozy. Politeness or industrial pressures?It is not known why he did not dare to counter the French nuclear VRP.
– Naoto Kan will remain for all inhabitants of evacuated areas the one who decided to raise the standard from 1 to 20 mSv / year. On the one hand, he was ready to evacuate Tokyo, but on the other he made a whole region irradiated with a very high radiation rate.Something is bizarre in these contradictory attitudes.
The ghost of Chernobyl
Pierre Pellerin, even disappeared, is still doing damages … Between the two parts of the documentary, Frédéric Boisset, editor-in-chief of Brainworks Press, presents the story of Chernobyl in this way:“In 1986, the radioactive cloud spread throughout Europe.The authorities do not have the technical means to measure the fallout, to give instructions to the French.Can we eat fruit and vegetables? Should we caulk indoors?It was to avoid this type of failure that this institute was created [the IRSN]. “
But this is not an interview taken on the spot, it is a carefully prepared text before the recording. Frédéric Boisset therefore pretends without blushing that the SCPRI of 1986, the ancestor of the IRSN, did not have the means to alert the French of the dangers of radioactivity!What an enormity! In Germany, they had the means to prohibit the sale of spinach and salads, to confine the students inside but not in France.Frédéric Boisset refeeds us the story of the Chernobyl radioactive plume that stops at the border?It is unbelievable that still in 2017 a journalist perpetuates the disinformation lie that began in 1986.
However, the IRSN, worthy successor of SCPRI, made this statement on March 15, 2011, the day when the radioactive cloud of Fukushima arrived in Tokyo:“A slight increase in ambient radioactivity in Tokyo is noted by a few measures. This elevation is not significant in terms of radiological impact. “Pierre Pellerin would not have said better!At the same time, Olivier Isnard, an IRSN expert sent to Tokyo, advocated caulking the premises of the French embassy. Fortunately, Philippe Faure, the French ambassador to Japan, communicated to his expatriates at 10 am:“Stay in your houses, making sure to caulk them to the maximum, this effectively protects against the low-intensity radioactive elements that could pass through Tokyo. ” But at 8 pm, he changed his tone and resumed the official speech dictated by the IRSN:“The situation remains at this time quite safe in Tokyo.A very slight increase in radioactivity was recorded.It represents no danger for human health. “100 Bq / m3 would pose no health hazard for a radioactive cloud coming directly from a nuclear reactor?I am feeling not any more safe than in 1986 unfortunately.
The taboo of the steam explosion
One last deception.The IRSN has purposedly mistranslated the words of Masao Yoshida, director of the Fukushima Daiichi power station.Immediately after the explosion of Unit 3, the latter, distraught, called the headquarters to inform them of the situation.Tepco released this recording and the IRSN broadcasted it in a video in 2013.I do not know Japanese but I have Japanese friends who have assured me of the translation of his words.I give you both versions, that of my friends and that of the IRSN. The people knowing japanese will be able to check for themselves.
The documentary gives another version:“HQ, HQ, it’s terrible! This is very serious !“Yes, here HQ.” “It seems there was an explosion on reactor 3, which looks like a hydrogen explosion.”Who recommended this text to journalists? Even though Yoshida himself said “suijôki” (steam) and not “suiso” (hydrogen).The IRSN’s translation therefore censures the hypothesis put forward by the director of the nuclear plant: the steam explosion.This is normal, it is the official version of the Japanese government and the IRSN can not go against it.
The steam explosion is a taboo issue among nuclear communicators.Experts talk about it to each other, carry out studies about it, write theses about it, but never talk about it to the public because the subject of a nuclear power plant explosion is too anxiogenic.If we ever learned that a steam explosion had arrived in Fukushima, it would undermine the image of nuclear power worldwide.
In France, the political-industrial lobby has axed its communication on the control of hydrogen:All French power plants have hydrogen recombiners to avoid hydrogen explosions.But against an steam explosion, nothing can be done.When the containment vessel is full of water and the corium at 3000 ° C falls in it, it’s boom, whether in Japan or in France, whether it be a boiling water reactor or a pressurized water reactor.
Rex Tillerson On North Korea And THAAD: Military Action Is An ‘option’
This link shows the problems the UK is having concerning the Euratom Treaty obligations post Brexit causing further problems with the UK international agreements for things like the purchase of Fuel rods, University student academic access and nuclear waste disposal;
And finally, also to do with Euratom and the agreement within it to do with health effects that is being challenged by an number of people within the European community area, with the support of Prof Chris Busby. An update on the situation concerning European applications (watch till the end to see the Swedish Euratom representative begin to panic)
Journalism faces an ‘existential crisis’ in Trump era – theme for March 2017
I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face. I actually hoped that once President-elect, all that that would change, and I still do. But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about “professional protesters incited by the media.”
He walked back the part about the protesters but not the part about the media.
We’re not there. But postcard from the world: This is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdoğan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al.
As all the international journalists we honor in this room tonight and every year know only too well: First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating — until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison — and then who knows?
Just to say, Erdoğan has just told my Israeli colleague Ilana Dayan that he cannot understand why anyone’s protesting in America, it must mean they don’t accept — or understand — democracy! And he thinks America like all great countries needs a strongman to get things done!
‘An appeal to protect journalism’
A great America requires a great and free and safe press. So this above all is an appeal to protect journalism itself.
Recommit to robust fact-based reporting without fear nor favor — on the issues. Don’t stand for being labeled crooked or lying or failing. Do stand up together — for divided we will all fall.
The historian Simon Schama, in the house tonight, told me early on that this was not just another election, and we cannot treat it as one.
And he says if ever there’s a time to celebrate, honor, protect and mobilize for press freedom and basic good journalism, it’s now.
At the start of this campaign, a network news president said this phenomenon may not be good for America but damn good for us.
During an interview on my program this summer, the filmmaker and historian Ken Burns asked me what would Edward R. Murrow do?
First, like many people watching where I was overseas, I admit I was shocked by the exceptionally high bar put before one candidate and the exceptionally low bar put before the other candidate.
It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth.
We cannot continue the old paradigm — let’s say like over global warming — where 99.9% of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.
I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth.
And we have to be prepared to fight especially hard for the truth in a world where the Oxford English Dictionary just announced its word of 2016: “post-truth.”
We have to accept that we’ve had our lunch handed to us by the very same social media that we’ve so slavishly been devoted to.
The winning candidate did a savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people. Combined with the most incredible development ever — the tsunami of fake news sites — aka lies — that somehow people could not, would not, recognize, fact check, or disregard.
Wael Ghonim, one of the fathers of the Arab spring, dubbed the social media revolution, now says:
“The same medium that so effectively transmits a howling message of change also appears to undermine the ability to make it. Social media amplifies the human tendency to bind with one’s own kind. It tends to reduce complex social challenges to mobilizing slogans that reverberate in echo chambers of the like-minded rather than engage in persuasion, dialogue, and the reach for consensus. Hate speech and untruths appear alongside good intentions and truths.”
I feel that we face an existential crisis, a threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession.
Now, more than ever, we need to commit to real reporting across a real nation, a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril, including by foreign powers like Russia paying to churn out and place false news, and hacking into democratic systems here and allegedly in upcoming crucial German and French elections too.
A quick anecdote from out there: In the 1997 Iranian elections, the reform candidate won and the establishment ayatollahs were caught totally off guard. One of them asked me later how I was so sure and when did I know that Khatami was going to win. I told him, as soon as I got on the ground and started talking to people! Just saying.
Fighting against a ‘post-values world’
We must also fight against a post-values world.
And let me hit back at this elitist backlash we’re all bending over backwards to accommodate.
Since when were American values elitist values? They are not left or right values. They are not rich or poor values, not the forgotten-man values.
Like many foreigners I have learned they are universal. They are the values of every American from the humblest to the most exalted. They form the very fundamental foundation of the United States and are the basis of America’s global leadership. They are brand America. They are America’s greatest export and gift to the world.
So yes, like so many around the world, I was shocked — very few ever imagined that so many Americans conducting their sacred duty in the sanctity of the voting booth, with their secret ballot, would be angry enough to ignore the wholesale vulgarity of language, the sexual predatory behavior, the deep misogyny, the bigoted and insulting views.
Gov. Mario Cuomo said you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Perhaps the opposite will be true this time around.
If not, I will fight as a journalist — as we all must — to defend and protect the unique value system that makes these United States — and with which it seeks to influence the world.
‘We must fight against normalization of the unacceptable’
The conservative radio host who may be the next white house press secretary says mainstream media is hostile to traditional values.
I would say it’s just the opposite. And have you read about the “heil, victory” meeting in Washington, DC this past weekend? Why aren’t there more stories about the dangerous rise of the far right here and in Europe? Since when did anti-Semitism stop being a litmus test in this country?
We must fight against normalization of the unacceptable.
A week before the heated Brexit referendum in the UK, the gorgeous, young, optimistic, idealistic, compassionate MP Jo Cox, a remainer, was shot and stabbed to death by a maniac yelling “Britain first.” She was particularly sensitive to the plight of Syrian war refugees.
At his trial, the court was told the accused had researched information on the SS and the KKK.
Just a few weeks ago, her husband, Brendan, now raising their two tiny toddlers, expanded for me on an op-ed he’d written:
“Political leaders and people generally must embrace the responsibility to speak out against bigotry. Unless the center holds against the insidious creep of extremism, history shows how quickly hatred is normalized. What begins with biting your tongue for political expediency, or out of social awkwardness, soon becomes complicity with something far worse. Before you know it, it’s already too late.”
So now the solutions!!
The media’s role in the world
Somehow, the war of attrition in this country has to end. You’ve all seen the results of this election. It’s very close. The nation is very divided, and angry. Are we in the media going to keep whipping up that war — or are we going to take a deep breath and maybe have a reset?!
It matters to us out there abroad too. For better or for worse, this is the world’s only superpower. Culturally too. The political example, the media example set here, are quickly emulated and rolled out across the world.
We, the media, can either contribute to a more functional system or to deepening the political dysfunction. Which world do we want to leave our children?
In the same way, politics has been driven into poisonous partisan and paralyzing corners, where political differences are criminalized, where the zero sum game means in order for me to win, you have to be destroyed. What happened to compromise and common ground?
That same dynamic has infected powerful segments of the American media.
Like it has in Egypt and Turkey and Russia, where journalists have been pushed into political partisan corners as we see here tonight — delegitimized, accused of being enemies of the state.
Stop journalism from becoming ‘weaponized’
Journalism itself has become weaponized. We have to stop it. We all have a huge amount of work to do, investigating wrongdoing, holding power accountable, enabling decent government, defending basic rights, actually covering the world — Russia, Syria, North Korean nukes.
Can’t we have differences without killing each other off? As a profession, let’s fight for what is right. Let’s fight for our values Bad things do happen when good people do nothing.
In the words of the great civil rights leader, congressman John Lewis: “Young people and people not so young have a moral obligation and a mission and a mandate to get in good trouble.”
So let’s go out and make some. And especially — let’s fight to remain relevant and useful.