nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Paris 6th Anniversary of Fukushima

I am away from home, staying in Paris as of now to participate to the various events organized for the Fukushima 6th Anniversary. I also have a computer problem, my computer is kaput.

So I am unable for the time being to post the news updates on the blogs and on FB. Sorry.

I will share with you a news articles list, for you to use to read what has been published in the last 3 days.

Some articles’ links from 10th, 11th & 12th March.2017 :

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10

Fukushima disaster evacuees told to return to abandoned homes

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/10/japan-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-evacuees-forced-return-home-radiation

The Semi-Secret Plan To Tunnel Under Fukushima Daiichi

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=16176

Japanese school children who survived Fukushima meltdown are being subjected to ‘nuclear bullying’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-fukushima-meltdown-school-children-nuclear-bullying-second-world-war-hiroshima-nagasaki-a7622646.html

Nuclear energy industry lacks new talent as Fukushima fallout turns off graduates

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/10/national/nuclear-energy-industry-lacks-new-talent-fukushima-fallout-turns-off-graduates/#.WMOit6KmnIV

Frozen Clocks and Radiation Mark Fukushima’s Abandoned Towns

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-exclusion-zone-anniversary/

Le retour contraint et forcé des réfugiés de Fukushima

https://reporterre.net/Le-retour-contraint-et-force-des-refugies-de-Fukushima

11

Manifestation antinucléaire de soutien au peuple japonais #stand4fukushima #paris

https://www.facebook.com/cyrille.cormier.923/videos/1876965169255203/

Six ans après la catastrophe nucléaire de Fukushima, le suivi sanitaire interpelle les spécialistes

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/japon/fukushima/six-ans-apres-la-catastrophe-nucleaire-de-fukushima-le-suivi-sanitaire-interpelle-les-specialistes_2088883.html

Akira Mizubayashi : «Le pouvoir veut que nous vivions l’après-Fukushima dans le déni»

http://www.liberation.fr/debats/2017/03/10/akira-mizubayashi-le-pouvoir-veut-que-nous-vivions-l-apres-fukushima-dans-le-deni_1554809

SIX YEARS AFTER: 34,000 people in Tohoku region still in makeshift housing units

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703110042.html

Kenta Sato Breakwater factory, Iitate

http://aperturecomms.com.au/case-study-kenta-sato/

Des évacués de Fukushima victimes de harcèlement

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2017/03/11/des-evacues-de-fukushima-victimes-de-harcelement_5093015_3244.html

Fukushima : où l’on tente encore de nous faire croire que le nucléaire pourrait être moteur de la redynamisation rurale – Une catastrophe sans fin, par Cécile Asanuma-Brice *

http://www.pauljorion.com/blog/2017/03/11/fukushima-ou-lon-tente-encore-de-nous-faire-croire-que-le-nucleaire-pourrait-etre-moteur-de-la-redynamisation-rurale-une-catastrophe-sans-fin-par-cecile-asanuma-brice/#more-93552

EDITORIAL: Divisions still haunt residents of Fukushima on 6th anniversary

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703110056.html

Decontamination work in Fukushima Pref. far from finished business

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170311/p2a/00m/0na/027000c

Six years after outbreak of crisis, Fukushima nuclear workers continue to face slander, discrimination: survey

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/11/national/science-health/six-years-outbreak-crisis-fukushima-nuclear-workers-continue-face-slander-discrimination-survey/#.WMWPVKKmnIU

Singapore keeping in place Fukushima food import curbs, six years after disaster

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/singapore-keeping-in-place-fukushima-food-import-curbs-six-years-after-disaster

The illusion of normality at Fukushima

http://www.dw.com/en/the-illusion-of-normality-at-fukushima/a-37885120

Only 6% of Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation paid by TEPCO

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/03/463020.html

Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

Six Years Of Fukushima: Six Lessons

http://www.dianuke.org/six-years-fukushima-six-lessons/

12

24,000 evacuees not counted by Fukushima govt.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170312_13/

Fukushima Radiation, What Prospects for Humanity

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-radiation-what-prospects-for-humanity/5578929

A Fukushima Survivor’s Story – Setsuko Kida

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5gn9ojAMo&feature=youtu.be

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Kyoko Kugawa-Albu, of Asuka Association with Herve Courtois (D’un Renard)

(https://www.facebook.com/asuka.asso)

 

 

 

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March 13, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Six years on, Japan struggles with Fukushima’s nuclear wastes

Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html?_r=0 by MOTOKO RICH 

The estimated 6,000 cleanup workers at the site put on new protective gear every day. These hazmat suits, face masks, rubber gloves and shoe coverings are thrown out at the end of each shift. The clothing is compressed and stored in 1,000 steel boxes stacked around the site.

To date, more than 64,700 cubic meters of gear has been discarded, the equivalent of 17 million one-gallon containers. Tokyo Electric says it will eventually incinerate all this contaminated clothing to reduce the space needed to store it.

Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land The plant’s grounds were once dotted with trees, and a portion was even designated as a bird sanctuary. But workers have cleared about 220 acres of trees since the meltdown spewed radiation over them.

Now, piles of branches and tree trunks are stacked all over the site. Officials say there are about 80,000 cubic meters of this waste, and all of it will have to be incinerated and stored someday.

200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive RubbleExplosions during the meltdown filled the reactors with rubble. Workers and robots are slowly and carefully trying to remove this tangled mass of crushed concrete, pipes, hoses and metal.

Tokyo Electric estimates that more than 200,400 cubic meters of rubble — all of it radioactive — have been removed so far and stored in custom-made steel boxes. That is the equivalent of about 3,000 standard 40-foot shipping containers.

3.5 Billion Gallons of SoilThousands of plastic garbage bags sit in neat rows in the fields and abandoned towns surrounding the Fukushima plant. They contain soil that was scraped from land that was exposed to radiation in the days after the accident.

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment estimates that it has bagged 3.5 billion gallons of soil, and plans to collect much more. It will eventually incinerate some of the soil, but that will only reduce the volume of the radioactive waste, not eliminate it.

The ministry has already begun building a massive, interim storage facility in Fukushima prefecture and negotiating with 2,360 landowners for the thousands of acres needed to complete it. And that is not even a long-term solution: The government says that after 30 years it will need another site — or sites — to store radioactive waste.

1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

The ultimate goal of the cleanup is to cool and, if possible, remove the uranium and plutonium fuel that was inside the three reactors at the time of the disaster.

Hundreds of spent fuel rods are in cooling pools inside the reactors, and the company hopes to have cleared away enough rubble to begin removing them next year. The much bigger challenge will be removing the fuel that was in use in the reactor core at the time of the meltdown.

The condition and location of this molten fuel debris are still largely unknown. In one reactor where a robot was sent in January, much of the melted fuel is believed to have burned through the bottom of the inner reactor vessel and burrowed into the thick concrete foundation of the containment structure.

The plan is to completely seal the containment vessels, fill them with water and use robots to find and remove the molten fuel debris. But the rubble, the lethal levels of radiation and the risk of letting radiation escape make this an exceedingly difficult task.

In January, the robot sent into one of the reactors discovered radiation levels high enough to kill a person in less than a minute. Another had to be abandoned last month after debris blocked its path and radiation disabled it.

Tokyo Electric hopes to begin removing fuel debris from the reactor cores in 2021. The entire effort could take decades. Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.

“We want to return it to a safe state,” said Yuichi Okamura, general manager of the company’s nuclear power and plant siting division. “We promised the local people that we would recover the site and make it a safe ground again.”

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Japan, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Why does Los Alamos National Laboratory want MORE nuclear waste storage?

The request also raises new concerns about the amount of radioactive waste being stored on the lab’s property, which has been threatened by catastrophic wildfires at least twice in the past 20 years, and about the lab’s long-troubled history of waste management, which has been a frequent subject of federal oversight reports.

Work was stalled for a number of years at the facility because of safety concerns with the building, including an inadequate fire safety system and its potential inability to withstand an earthquake.

“The desire to make more waste is actually competing with [the] desire to get on top of their safety and [existing] waste issues”

The continued storage of above-ground waste also raises questions about the safety of the drums in the event of a fire

LANL seeks permission to store more nuclear waste on-site http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lanl-seeks-permission-to-store-more-nuclear-waste-on-site/article_169f3934-21a2-5ede-9d21-cfd2946e2bdb.html Mar 12, 2017. By Rebecca Moss The New Mexican LOS ALAMOS — Los Alamos National Laboratory wants to store thousands of gallons of newly generated radioactive waste for an indefinite number of years, possibly decades, on laboratory property that is primarily used for plutonium research and nuclear weapons development.

The lab in January asked the state for permission to modify its 2010 hazardous waste permit in order to use two waste rooms and an outdoor storage pad near the lab’s plutonium facility to hold 1,700 waste drums, or 95,000 gallons, of radiologically contaminated materials — enough to fill six backyard swimming pools.

The new waste would join millions of gallons of radioactive waste and other hazardous contaminants stored in shallow pits and above ground throughout the lab’s 43-square-mile property, some of it dating back to the Manhattan Project. The request underscores the nuclear weapons industry’s continuing struggle to find places to dispose of its growing stockpiles of radioactive waste, an endeavor that was set back in part by the nearly three-year closure of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Southern New Mexico. An improperly packaged waste drum from the lab burst in an underground chamber in February 2014, causing a radiation leak.

Even with the reopening of WIPP in January, the facility is unlikely to return to full speed for several years, and new rules for accepting radioactive waste will only further delay shipments from Los Alamos.

The request also raises new concerns about the amount of radioactive waste being stored on the lab’s property, which has been threatened by catastrophic wildfires at least twice in the past 20 years, and about the lab’s long-troubled history of waste management, which has been a frequent subject of federal oversight reports.

Officials said the newly generated waste has been accumulating at the lab since WIPP stopped accepting shipments. Continue reading

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Grandfather and granddaughter join forces prevent nuclear doom

The former defense secretary is spending his twilight years sounding the alarm with his 29-year-old granddaughter.

“When my kids were getting under desks at their school and going through nuclear drills — the danger today is actually greater. We’re just not aware of it,” says Perry.

At 89, he works with granddaughter to prevent nuclear doom

Before Forever Changes

 

MARCH 11, 2017, BY  Picture a nondescript packing crate labeled “agricultural equipment” being loaded onto a delivery truck, which drives along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., until it stops midway between the White House and the Capitol.

The nuclear bomb explodes with the power of 15 kilotons. There are more than 80,000 deaths, from the highest ranking members of government to the youngest schoolchildren. All major news outlets then report receiving an identical claim: that five more nuclear bombs are hidden in five major cities.

Such is the nightmare nuclear scenario that former US Defense Secretary William Perry says may seem remote, but the consequences, if realized, would be disastrous.

“I do not like to be a prophet of doom,” says Perry, 89, with the gentle grace of a decadeslong diplomat who has negotiated with countries both hostile and friendly to US interests. Then he bluntly gets to the point. “What we’re talking about is no less than the end of civilization.”

Perry doesn’t believe an intentional terrorist attack or all-out nuclear war is the greatest risk — he fears a “blunder” that plunges the globe into a nuclear conflict.

Perry says with a more aggressive Russia, and a brash and at times unpredictable President Donald Trump, “the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe is probably greater than it has ever been, greater than any time in the Cold War.”

CNN reached out to the White House for comment on Perry’s statements. It did not respond.

While he’s long been out of government, Perry’s uses his extensive policy chops and background to engage the public — through speeches, presentations and online courses.

He worries that tensions between the Koreas, and possibly Japan, could turn into a conventional conflict that could go nuclear. A bellicose and expansion-minded Russia could draw the United States into a situation that could escalate, Perry says. And the District of Columbia scenario shows how devastation can result from a crude bomb.

“When my kids were getting under desks at their school and going through nuclear drills — the danger today is actually greater. We’re just not aware of it,” says Perry.

The former defense secretary is spending his twilight years sounding the alarm with his 29-year-old granddaughter. They’re trying to awaken a new audience on social media with the William J. Perry Project, an advocacy group dedicated to helping end the nuclear threat.

“We’re really just out there trying to reach a generation that isn’t really engaged on this issue right now,” says Lisa Perry, the digital communications manager for the project. “It’s something we learned in history class. There was no conversation about what’s happening now.”

“The dangers will never go away as long as we have nuclear weapons,” William Perry explains. “But we should take every action to lower the dangers and I think it can be done.”

A lifetime dealing with the nuclear threat

Perry served three years under President Bill Clinton, a time when more than 8,000 nuclear weapons were dismantled. His nuclear knowledge traces back to his days as a CIA analyst working with the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was tapped to evaluate photos showing Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba and recalls it as one of the scariest times in his life.

“We made miscalculations,” recalls Perry about those anxious two weeks. “It’s a miracle they did not lead to war.”

Perry lists the risks: US-Russia hostilities. A nuclear terror attack. A regional crisis.

On a regional conflict, Perry sees North Korea as an unpredictable nuclear threat. The regime’s growing arsenal and history of bold actions, Perry says, could be met by an escalated response by South Korea or even the United States. Not necessarily a deliberate attack, says Perry, but he fears a “blunder” that plunges the globe into a nuclear conflict.

“When a crisis reaches a boiling point then you have a possibility of a miscalculation,” warns Perry.

Trump and the nuclear threat……….http://wtkr.com/2017/03/11/at-89-he-works-with-granddaughter-to-prevent-nuclear-doom/

March 13, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Thorough research to be done on uranium health effects on Navajo Nation

Mothers, Babies on Navajo Nation Exposed to High Levels of Uranium https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/health-wellness/mothers-babies-navajo-nation-exposed-high-levels-uranium/ Navajo Birth Cohort Study figuring out how exposure affects health  • December 20, 2016

Researchers with the Navajo Birth Cohort Study aren’t looking for simple answers about how uranium exposure affects health. We already know—and have known for decades—that contact with uranium can cause kidney disease and lung cancer.

This study is the first to look at what chronic, long-term exposure from all possible sources of uranium contamination—air, water, plants, wildlife, livestock and land—does down through the generations in a Native American community.

Since the study began in 2012, over 750 families have enrolled and 600 babies have been born to those families, said Dr. Johnnye Lewis, director of the Community Environmental Health Program & Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and NBCS principal investigator.

We’re collecting a huge amount of data,” Lewis said. “At this point … all of our results are preliminary, [but] what we do know is that if we look at uranium in urine in the Navajo participants we see higher concentrations than we would expect based on the U.S. population as a whole… [In babies,] we are seeing a trend that uranium levels in urine increase over the first year.”

The Navajo Nation overlies some of the largest uranium deposits in the U.S. Between 1944 and 1986, miners extracted nearly 30 million tons of uranium from Navajo Nation lands. Navajo miners did not have protective suits or masks; they took their work clothes home for laundering; they and other community members used rocks from the mines to build their homes.

When the Cold War ended, most of the uranium mines on Navajo were abandoned—not covered, or sealed, or remediated, just left as they were with waste piles exposed to wind and rain and accessible to anyone, including children.

Today, more than 500 open abandoned uranium mines are spread across the Navajo Nation and uranium dust, particles and radiation continue to be released into the environment.

The questions the NBCS seeks to answer are complex. Uranium does not exist in isolation at the mine sites, so the study is looking at 36 different metals associated with uranium. “We do that because when you look at uranium waste, it’s not just uranium that’s in the waste,” said Lewis. “None of the variables that we look at, none of the causes or the outcomes that we look at are on-off binary sort of things. What we look at is as concentrations of uranium or other metals changes, can we see changes in responses?”

Researchers have also been alarmed by the findings that levels of iodine and zinc are lower than they should be in the study group. Iodine levels are about 40 percent below the World Health Organization sufficiency level, and 61 percent of the mothers in the study have zinc levels below the WHO sufficiency level. “Iodine deficiencies [are] very, very important because iodine is really critical for normal organ development and neurodevelopment,” said Lewis. “And we worry about zinc because we have some evidence that it may be involved in the repair process when you have exposure to some of the metals that we look at. [A lack of zinc] actually inhibits the body’s ability to fix damage to DNA.”

Documenting these deficiencies would make the NBCS worthwhile “even if we learn there are absolutely no [long-term health] effects from uranium,” Lewis said. “Whatever we find out is going to be important.”

Two other endeavors resulting from the study are already in the works, and both will be hugely important to the well-being of Navajo families in the future.

The project has just won Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program funding from the National Institutes of Health. The project is looking at kids all across the U.S. to try to understand how their environment influences their health. It will eventually include 50,000 children and at least two cohorts will be from Native American communities, Lewis said. “We’re just really pleased that they’re including Native Americans.”

The Centers for Disease Control funding for the NBCS only allows families to be followed for up to one year. This new funding, which extends over 5 years after a 2-year initial period, will allow the researchers to go back and look again at each child on an annual basis and do much more detailed developmental assessments. In the process, they will be able to develop an assessment that takes into account Navajo parenting styles and create an instrument that is valid specifically for Navajo children, unlike standardized developmental assessments that are devised based primarily on the dominant culture’s parenting practices.

To accomplish that, “we put together a clinical team that is going to be training our Navajo staff to deliver these developmental assessments. It will be a long process of working together. They’ll be trained and then they will shadow the clinical team so that they get a lot more experience off Navajo before ever coming back here and then when they come back they’ll each be partnered with either a neurodevelopmental expert or psychometrician … who will be hired through the program. They will initially shadow them and then be shadowed by them to ensure that we have consistency.

“So at the end of seven years what we’re going to have is a really great team of professional evaluators who will be staying on Navajo and who will provide that new service” to Navajo families, Lewis said.

The NBCS is a collaborative effort of the University of New Mexico’s DiNEH Project, Center for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR), Navajo Area Indian Health Service, and the Navajo Nation Division of Health, and the Southwest Research and Information Center.

Women between the ages of 14 and 45 who have lived on the Navajo Nation for five years, are pregnant and will deliver their babies at hospitals in Chinle, Gallup, Shiprock, Ft. Defiance and Tuba City are eligible to participate in the study. Call 1-877-545-6775 for information.

 

March 13, 2017 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Tepco has paid only 6% of compensation needed by municipalities for Fukushima nuclear disaster

Only 6% of Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation paid by TEPCO, Japan Today, MAR. 11, 2017 TOKYO —

The operator of the crippled nuclear complex in Fukushima Prefecture has only paid 6% of the compensation sought by municipalities in connection with the 2011 nuclear crisis, according to a recent prefectural tally.

The delay in payments to the 12 municipalities, designated by the government as evacuation zones, highlights the continuing challenge to their reconstruction efforts six years after the nuclear disaster, triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.

The tally found that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO) had by the end of 2016 paid around 2.6 billion yen ($22.5 million) of the 43.3 billion yen demanded by the 12 local governments.

As some municipalities have been forced to shoulder most of the costs for TEPCO, local residents have raised concerns that the situation could delay reconstruction…….

Among the municipalities, the town of Futaba, where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is located and all of its residents remain evacuated, has received no compensation despite its demand for around 19.3 billion yen.

The town of Namie, where part of its evacuation order will be lifted at the end of the month, has received around 460 million yen, 4% of the amount demanded……

The delay in paying compensation is fueling concern about the future. “If compensation (for local governments) does not move forward, it will spark concern among residents over the town’s reconstruction efforts,” said Futoshi Hirono, who heads a residents’ association in Kawamata. https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/only-6-of-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-compensation-paid-by-tepco

March 13, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Fukushima continuing, Japan | Leave a comment

America’s doomed nuclear white elephant

The Other Shoe Just Dropped, Dooming the U.S. Nuclear Revival Energy and Resources Digest, By David Fessler, Energy and Infrastructure Strategist, The Oxford Club,Wednesday, February 22, 2017  On February 9, 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Southern Company (NYSE: SO) a construction permit and operating license for its two newest nuclear power plants. When completed, Vogtle units 3 and 4 will produce a total of 2,234 megawatts of power.

But investors who expected big returns were in for a big surprise… This nuclear white elephant was doomed from the start.

Over the last five years, Southern Company shares have appreciated a measly 7.62%.

And after you read this, you’ll understand why the next five years could be much worse for the entire nuclear industry.

Nuclear power plants continue to get more expensive over time. Saddled with massive cost overruns and huge delays, nuclear has a “negative learning curve.”

As the Pennsylvania Dutch say, “The further we go, the behinder we get.” It’s nuclear power’s cost escalation curse.

The Vogtle power plant is a classic example. Construction began on Vogtle units 1 and 2 in 1971.

The project took 18 years to complete and was a decade behind schedule. The final price was $9 billion for the two plants. That was 10 times the estimated price.

But it gets even better…

Construction began on units 3 and 4 in 2009. Unit 3 was originally scheduled for operation in 2016. Unit 4 was scheduled for this year.

Now unit 3 is scheduled for completion in 2019, and unit 4 is set for 2020.

The original cost for units 3 and 4 was $14 billion.

That’s now ballooned to $21 billion. This is the nuclear cost escalation curse in action.

And the U.S. nuclear power revival? It was doomed almost before it got started.

John Rowe, the former CEO of the largest nuclear power operator in the U.S., said that Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be uneconomical when – or if – they are completed.

I’m with Rowe on this one.

I don’t think these nuclear power plants will ever produce any power. In light of Obama’s efforts to reduce carbon, you would think that there would be a stack of permit and construction applications on the NRC’s desktops.

But there isn’t. Including Vogtle units 3 and 4, there are only five reactors under construction in the U.S.

Two are under construction in South Carolina. And the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar unit 2 just received its operating permit.

The TVA unit took 40 years from permitting to operating status. You could blame the Fukushima disaster, but that’s not the real reason…….http://energyandresourcesdigest.com/invest-nuclear-energy-next-five-years-bloodbath-so-ccj/

March 13, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Thousands in Taiwan protest against nuclear power, demand low carbon sustainable energy

Taiwan protesters demand sustainable energy, nuclear power phase-out, San Diego Jewish World,  March 11, 2017 rom dpa German Press Agency Taipei (dpa) – Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets across Taiwan on Saturday to urge the government to speed up steps to abandon nuclear power, find solutions to the problem of radioactive waste and develop more sustainable energy resources.

The demonstrations came as Japan marked the sixth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Protesters gathered Saturday in the capital, Taipei; in the port city of Kaohsiung in the south; and in Taitung City in the east.

Organizers said the protests included representatives from more than 200 non-governmental environmental groups, human rights groups, child welfare organisations and others.

On a square in Taipei in front of the office of Taiwanese President Tsai ing-wen, demonstrators waved signs that read, “No Nukes,” “Low Carbon” and “Sustainable Energy.”………http://www.sdjewishworld.com/2017/03/11/taiwan-protesters-demand-sustainable-energy-nuclear-power-phase-out/

March 13, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Taiwan govt reaffirms aim to phase out nuclear power by 2025

Cabinet reaffirms goal of phasing out nuclear power by 2025 http://focustaiwan.tw/news/ast/201703110010.aspx 2017/03/11 Taipei, March 11 (CNA) (By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)
ENDITEM/AW/
Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) reiterated on Saturday that the government’s goal of phasing out nuclear power in Taiwan by 2025 remains unchanged, as protesters held anti-nuclear power rallies around the country.

Hsu said the government will brief the public about its plans later this month, including ways to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources nationwide to 20 percent by 2025.

Other issues such as handling nuclear waste, upgrading to more efficient thermal power plants and steps to decommission the country’s three active nuclear power plants will also be addressed, added state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) in a statement.

Hsu made the remarks as demonstrations were held in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taitung against the continued use of nuclear power in Taiwan on the sixth anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan that resulted in a nuclear incident that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the region around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The protesters demanded that the government move faster on its pledge to create a “nuclear power free homeland,” including the announcement of more concrete plans and a timetable.

In addition, the problem of air pollution should also be included as part of anti-nuclear policy as it has become a pressing health issue, said one of the rally organizers, the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform.

The Atomic Energy Council said it will complete its review by June of Taipower’s plan to phase out the No. 1 nuclear Power plant.

The council is also demanding Taipower too put forth its plans to decommission the second and third nuclear plower plants by 2018 and 2021, respectively.

March 13, 2017 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Former PM Koizumi again calls for ‘zero nuclear power in Japan

Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for ‘zero nuclear power plants’ http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170312/p2g/00m/0dm/056000c March 12, 2017 (Mainichi Japan) SAPPORO (Kyodo) — Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday repeated his call for Japan’s complete departure from nuclear energy as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Total number of global nuclear weapons has dropped

Stockpiles of nuclear weapons around the world – in data, Guardian 11 Mar 17  This week saw more atomic sabre-rattling by North Korea, but it is estimated that the global total of nuclear weapons has shrunk by a third in the last half-decade “…….It is estimated that North Korea now has 10 nuclear weapons, up from six or eight in 2013. This increase is in contrast to an overall decrease in the number of nuclear weapons worldwide. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent resource on global security, has estimated that the number has fallen by almost a third, from 22,600 in 2010 to around 15,395 last year. That said, SIPRI also states that both the US and Russia are going through extensive modernising programmes for their remaining weapons.

The main factor in this reduction is the diminishing numbers of warheads held by the US (which dropped from around 9,600 to 7,000 in that period) and Russia (which went from 12,000 to 7,290). The UK figure also dropped, from 225 to 215.

 But some countries’ arsenals have grown: China was thought to have 260 warheads in early 2016, compared with 240 in 2010. India and Pakistan have also seen their figures creep up in recent years: India is thought to have between 100 and 120 nuclear weapons now, compared with between 60 and 80 in 2010, while Pakistan may have as many as 130, up from 70-90. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/11/stockpiles-of-nuclear-weapons-around-the-world-in-data

March 13, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Did Israel hire assassins to murder Iranian nuclear scientists?

Iran accuses Israel of hiring assassins to take out nuclear scientists http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4933589,00.html
Iranian rep. at International Atomic Energy Agency describes Israel as a threat to entire Middle East, claims it targeted Iranian experts and criticizes Israel for not joining Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Iran, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

‘You’re Not Above the Law’- Office of Government Ethics tells Trump White House

Ethics Watchdog to White House: You’re Not Above the Law, Daily Beast
The Office of Government Ethics is unhappy with the White House again, warning that no one, not even the Executive Branch, is completely exempt from its rules.
LACHLAN MARKAY 03.10.17

A top government ethics watchdog on Thursday pushed back against White House claims that its employees are not subject to ethics rules that bind every other federal government official.

Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, told Stefan Passatino, President Donald Trump’s deputy counsel, that the claim has no basis in law or precedent.

Passatino’s “extraordinary assertion that ‘many’ of OGE’ s regulations are inapplicable to employees of the Executive Office of the President…is incorrect, and the letter cites no legal basis for it,” Shaub wrote in a Thursday letter.

The missive, the latest salvo between OGE and the White House,  was in response to a Feb. 13 letter in which Passatino told Shaub that the White House was complying with some OGE rules even though it was not legally bound to do so.

“Many regulations promulgated by [OGE] do not apply to employees of the Executive Office of the President,” Passatino wrote.

OGE has been in frequent contact with Trump’s team since the election and over the first month his presidency to try to hammer out legal and administrative issues created by the president’s sizable wealth and accompanying conflicts of interest.

 Despite that contact, Shaub’s Thursday letter shows that major points of contention remain regarding federal ethics rules. Trump has insisted that conflict-of-interest rules do not apply to the president.

But Passatino’s statement went even further, and Shaub was adamant that it was legally unfounded and contradicted the practices of past White Houses.

“Presidential administrations have not considered it appropriate to challenge the applicability of ethics rules to the entire executive branch,” Shaub wrote. “It is critical to the public’s faith in the integrity of government that White House employees be held to the same standard of ethical accountability as other executive branch employees.”

Shaub also took aim at the White House’s apparent refusal to discipline a senior staffer for using her position to enrich a member of Trump’s family, even as it seemed to admit wrongdoing……http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/09/ethics-watchdog-to-white-house-you-re-not-above-the-law.html

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Bernie Sanders indicts Trump’s assault on democracy

‘Trump lies all the time’: Bernie Sanders indicts president’s assault on democracy

How Bernie Sanders is Making President Trump’s Life a Living Hell

Exclusive: the former presidential candidate suggested that Donald Trump’s false claims serve a purpose – to push the United States toward authoritarianism, Guardian,  , 10 Mar 17, Bernie Sanders has launched a withering attack on Donald Trump, accusing him of being a pathological liar who is driving America towards authoritarianism.In an interview with the Guardian, the independent senator from Vermont, who waged a spirited campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, gave a bleak appraisal of the new White House and its intentions.

He warned that Trump’s most contentious outbursts against the media, judiciary and other pillars of American public life amounted to a conscious assault on democracy.

“Trump lies all of the time and I think that is not an accident, there is a reason for that. He lies in order to undermine the foundations of American democracy.”…..

he reserved his most excoriating language for what he believes are the president’s authoritarian tendencies.

He charged Trump with devising a conscious strategy of lies denigrating key public institutions, from the mainstream media to judges and even the electoral process itself, so that he could present himself as the sole savior of the nation. The aim was to put out the message that “the only person in America who stands for the American people, the only person in America who is telling the truth, the only person in America who gets it right is the president of the United States, Donald Trump”.

Trump’s fragile relationship with the truth has been one of the distinguishing features of his fledgling administration……

While the media spotlight remains firmly on Trump and the daily bombardment of his Twitter feed, quietly and largely unmarked, Sanders, the self-styled democratic socialist senator, is spearheading a nationwide resistance to the new administration. The Brooklyn-born politician is working in tandem with, though at arm’s length from, former senior advisers in his presidential campaign to rouse for a second time the vast army of young people who flocked to his cause in 2016.

He said that despite what he sees as the virulent threat of Trump, he finds comfort in the evidence that the resistance is already in full swing. “You are seeing a very active progressive movement. Our Revolution – a group which came out of my campaign – other groups, the spontaneous Women’s March, that’s all an indication of the willingness of the American people to fight back for democracy.”……https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/10/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-lies-democracy

March 13, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS RISING AT RECORD PACE.

CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS RISING AT RECORD PACE. #AUSPOL #SCIENCE, JPratt 27 , 12 Mar 17 

Carbon dioxide levels rose at record pace for 2nd straight year | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.
The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.
“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”
Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm…..

NOAA has measured CO2 on site at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1974. To ensure accuracy, air samples from the mountaintop research site in Hawaii are shipped to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, for verification. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which first began sampling CO2 at Mauna Loa in 1956, also takes independent measurements onsite.
Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate, Tans said. This high growth rate of CO2 is also being observed at some 40 other sites in NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.
The greenhouse effect, explained
Carbon dioxide is one of several gases that are primarily responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere. This “greenhouse effect” maintains temperatures suitable for life on Earth. Increasing CO2 levels trap additional heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, contributing to rising global average temperatures.
Atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm between about 10,000 years ago and the start of the Industrial Revolution around 1760.

Press link for more: NOAA     https://jpratt27.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/carbon-dioxide-levels-rising-at-record-pace-auspol-science/

March 13, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment