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Progress of Unit 1 PCV Internal Investigations – March 18. 2017

Preliminary report of March 12 investigation 1/2

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Preliminary report of March 12 investigation 2/2

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Impact to the surrounding environment :

The radiation level of 7.8 Sv/h was measured by a dosimeter during the March 18 investigation, but the radiation impact has been reduced by the shielding of PCV concrete walls and steel. No radiation impact has been observed in the surrounding environment.

The investigation is conduced while creating a boundary around the guiding pipe to prevent the air inside the PCV from leaking to the outside.

No significant changes have been observed at the monitoring posts and dust monitors after the investigation, compared to the before.

Real-time data of the monitoring posts and dust monitors along the site boundary are available on the website.

Reference URL:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/index-e.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/dustmonitor/index-e.html

Monitoring of the plant parameters:

Although the radiation level of 7.8 Sv/h was measured by a dosimeter during the March 18 investigation,it does not mean that a new phenominonhas occurred but rather the area that has not been investigated since the March 2011 accident was investigated for the first time.

Plant parameters are monitored all the time during the investigation, and no significant changes have been observed in the PCV internal temperatures after the investigation, compared to the before.

The condition of cold shutdown has not been changed. Temperature data inside the PCV are available on the website.

Reference URL: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/pla/index-e.html

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March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to Focus on Joint Ventures for Rehab

What company in their right mind would want to hook up with a zombie company so they could leech 21.5 trillion yen from them?

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Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Wednesday released an outline of its new rehabilitation plan focusing on joint ventures with other companies, to find a way out of the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011.
But with other power companies cautious about industry realignment and business integration, TEPCO is expected to continue to face difficulties under the new plan.
TEPCO’s current rehabilitation plan, adopted in January 2014, has reached a dead end, with no prospects for a restart of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, which the company viewed as a key step for improving profitability.
TEPCO needs to secure as much as 21.5 trillion yen for its response to the triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, including compensation for affected people and businesses and work to decommission the disaster-stricken reactors at the plant.
In the circumstances, the government plans to keep the company effectively under state control for the time being. Its involvement with TEPCO will be reviewed in the fiscal year that begins in April 2019.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

A Campaign to Tackle “Misinformation” about Radioactive Contamination

Masahiro Imamura, Minister for Reconstruction, wants to launch a large-scale campaign, to correct the incorrect information about radioactive contamination of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products from Fukushima Prefecture; as an effort to tackle the issue of “misinformation about radioactive contamination” crippling Fukushima foods. That means more propaganda to come, more lies to hide the real risks of radiation to the people’s health. As if propaganda, to brainwash the people with a large-scale campaign would be the solution to make radiation disappear.

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Reconstruction chief Masahiro Imamura

Reconstruction chief praises efforts in Tohoku, flags information campaign on radiation risks

Minister for reconstruction Masahiro Imamura has praised efforts to rebuild the devastated Tohoku region but says a large-scale information campaign is needed to share accurate information about radiation six years after the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Imamura outlined the plan in a recent interview in response to what he said was incorrect information about radioactive contamination of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products from Fukushima Prefecture.

It also comes as a growing number of children who evacuated from the prefecture fall victim to bullying.

Massive amounts of radioactive substances were emitted from the plant soon after it was knocked out by massive tsunami from the 9.0-magnitude March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake, which hit hardest in Fukushima and the nearby prefectures of Miyagi and Iwate.

Asked about the degree of progress in reconstructing areas hit by the disaster, Imamura said, “Acquisition of land and other procedures needed for the restoration of damaged infrastructure initially took time, but the pace of construction work was very rapid once it was launched.”

From now, we should focus on the rebuilding of Fukushima,” he said, noting that medium- to long-term measures should be promoted, including decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 plant and decontaminating areas polluted with radioactive fallout.

We want to encourage evacuees to return to their hometowns in Fukushima by presenting future visions for the communities through improving the living environment and accelerating the revival of local industries,” Imamura added.

On how to tackle the incidences of bullying targeting evacuated Fukushima children, Imamura said, “We’ll strengthen information-sharing about radiation. All government agencies should jointly work to compile and launch a campaign for that purpose, while obtaining cooperation from private companies.

This is an issue for not only children, but adults,” he said. “We’ll prepare documents and other materials that are easy to understand in order to eliminate prejudice against evacuated people.”

Imamura said the campaign would also be an effort to tackle the issue of “misinformation about radioactive contamination crippling Fukushima foods.”

I’ll seek cooperation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well,” he said.

Imamura said he believed the Reconstruction Agency’s efforts to date to rebuild areas affected by the March 2011 disaster have been praised to a certain degree. Still, he pointed to the importance of re-examining whether information on what affected areas need has been properly conveyed to the Reconstruction Agency and other government bodies.

Imamura said Japan’s aging population and low birthrate were also contributing to shrinking communities across the nation — something he described as a structural problem.

It’s important to build a system that generates profits through stepped-up use of information technology and the modernization of factory equipment, even if human resources are limited,” he said.

We need to check again whether communities will be able to smoothly help one another in times of disaster, although lessons from the March 2011 disaster were effectively utilized in a series of powerful earthquakes that mainly hit Kumamoto Prefecture in April last year, and the October 2016 strong quake in Tottori Prefecture,” Imamura added.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/21/national/reconstruction-chief-praises-efforts-tohoku-flags-information-campaign-radiation-risks/#.WNJEq6KmnIV

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017, spinbuster | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Controversial conspiracy bill approved by Abe Cabinet

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Protesters stage a rally in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Tuesday as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved an anti-conspiracy bill

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved Tuesday a controversial bill that would revise the organized crime law so authorities can crack down on individuals and organizations who conspire to engage in serious criminal activity.

The conspiracy charges apply to groups of two or more people, where at least one person procures funds, supplies or surveys a location in preparation for committing a crime. Efforts to maintain or expand organized crime groups would also be punished, while reduced penalties would be considered for those who turn themselves in before a crime is carried out.

The government is pushing to enact the revised bill during the ordinary Diet session through mid-June, but strong objections by opposition parties are expected amid concern that the law may be used against civic groups.

The backlash against the measure has been a persistent hurdle in passing the anti-conspiracy law, which the government has attempted and failed to enact three times in the past, as it targeted “groups” in general.

The bill needs to be passed to ensure necessary counterterrorism measures are in place before the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to the government. It is also a prerequisite to ratify the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which was adopted by member states in 2000 and took effect in 2003.

It is an urgent necessity for the government to ratify the treaty to promote international cooperation on counter-terrorism,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Tuesday, adding Japan is the only country among the Group of Seven nations that has not signed the treaty.

Suga also said the targets of the new bill would be strictly applied to terrorists and other organized crime syndicates, not ordinary citizens.

Some opposition parties and the Tokyo Bar Association denounced the revisions, which they say would still allow the possibility of government overreach and retaliation against civic groups.

The conspiracy bill goes against the basic principles of our country’s criminal code and the legal system,” Motoji Kobayashi, president of the Tokyo Bar Association, said in a statement in January. “It threatens the function of protecting human rights.”

The government previously included 676 crimes in its original draft, but has narrowed that number down to 277 in the revised bill.

Yukio Yamashita, an attorney and member of the association, warned that 277 crimes are still too many and noted some are unnecessary.

For example, a person using forged stamps or competing in a motor boat race without a license would be subject to punishment under the revised bill, Yamashita said in a seminar held earlier in March.

Meanwhile, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations claims that only a limited number of countries, such as Norway, have newly enacted anti-conspiracy laws for the purpose of ratifying the U.N. treaty, which was adopted to crack down on organized cross-border crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics trading and money laundering.

Japan’s Diet approved the treaty in 2013, but was unable to ratify it without a law covering criminal conspiracy.

As of December, 187 countries and regions have signed the treaty.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/21/national/crime-legal/controversial-conspiracy-bill-approved-by-abe-cabinet/#.WNJ_RKKmnIW

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Robot probe of No.1 reactor to continue until Wed.

 

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a robotic survey of fuel debris at the No. 1 reactor is being hampered by plumbing and other structures. The utility says it will extend the probe by one day, until Wednesday.

So far engineers have detected strong radiation of about 11 sieverts per hour in the water inside the containment vessel.

Tokyo Electric Power Company on Saturday started sending a remote-controlled robot into the reactor’s containment vessel to look at the state of debris — a mixture of melted fuel and reactor parts. The robot is equipped with a camera and a dosimeter.

The melted fuel is believed to still be at the bottom of the vessel, where about 2 meters of contaminated water accumulates.

TEPCO released the results of the ongoing survey on Tuesday. It said the robot moved to a location believed to be just above the debris and lowered the camera and dosimeter into the accumulated water.

The dosimeter detected radiation of 6 sieverts per hour one meter from the bottom. But piping prevented the device from reaching deeper, and it has yet to confirm the debris.

TEPCO also said the robot recorded about 11 sieverts of radiation per hour about 30 centimeters from the vessel’s bottom at another location. Officials believe the radiation may be coming from contaminated fragments that fell to the bottom, as they expected no debris there.

Through the extended probe, TEPCO hopes to collect more data on conditions inside the vessel.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170321_33/

 

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Noted Hiroshima hibakusha Dr. Shuntaro Hida dies at 100

Shuntaro Hida died. He had been a doctor in the Japanese imperial army and a doctor for the “hibakushas”, an activist against atomic weapons and nuclear energy, he was also known for his research on the dangers of internal contamination by radioactivity.

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Shuntaro Hida, a former Imperial Japanese Army doctor who survived the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II and treated survivors, died Monday, sources close to him said. He was 100.

Hailing from Gifu Prefecture, Hida became a doctor after graduating from the academy of medicine of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1944 and was assigned to a Hiroshima army hospital.

Hida was working in a village some 6 km north of the hypocenter when the atomic bomb detonated over the city on Aug. 6, 1945.

He entered devastated areas immediately after the bombing to help survivors, many of whom suffered severe burns. Afterward, he continued treating victims who were suffering from leukemia and other illnesses.

Hida, who made his first trip to the United States in 1975, visited about 150 cities in more than 30 countries where he told the story of the bombing. He spent 15 years until 1989 detailing the misery the atomic-bomb victims suffered.

He also served as director of the counseling center at the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations

After the Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, Hida attended anti-nuclear events in Tokyo and elsewhere to call for a world free of nuclear power.

He is also known for his research on the dangers of internal exposure to radiation.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/21/national/noted-hiroshima-hibakusha-dr-shuntyaro-hida-dead-100/#.WNJYeRh7Sis

 

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

About the documentary film “Fukushima the silent voices”

 

 

 

 

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Chiho Sato and Lucas Rue, the film directors

Yesterday, Saturday March 18. 2017, I went to watch for the second time The silent Voices, a documentary film directed by Chiho Sato and Lucas Rue, a screening organized by the French-Japanese Asuka association, an association founded by Kyoko Kugawa-Albu after the March 11. 2011 with the purpose to inform the general public about the Fukushima catastrophe.

I was very happy to meet again and spend some time with the two young movie directors, a very nice, sincere and talented couple, and with Kyoko Kugawa-Albu an antinuclear friend of mine.

This second time watching the movie confirmed my first impression, this movie is definitely the best documentary which has been made about Fukushima in the past 6 years, and you can believe it as I have watched many.

It is the best because of its unique approach, as Chiho Sato is herself from Fukushima she has been able like no one else to enter the intimacy of the Fukushima people by interviewing her own family members and her family close friends.

Chiho Sato was able to make them open up and talk about what usually nobody wants to talk about, as to talk about the catastrophe and its consequences has become kinda taboo among the Fukushima people, who never talk about it as different opinions could caused conflict, antagonism and create divisions. So after 6 years of an ongoing unresolved nuclear catastrophe, today nobody talks about it and everyone keeps it buried deep inside.

Chiho Sato for the first time succeeded to make those silent voices to talk, about the problems resulting from the catastrophe in their everyday life, their present and future inner fears.

Watching it for the second time, convinced me that I really need to write an article about it, to come in the coming weeks, because this film contains some very important testimonies that everyone should hear.

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March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Wild Mushrooms to be Blamed for the Spread of Cesium in Fukushima!

Let me introduce this pro-nuclear article and pro-revitalization; because it directs the spotlight on a scientific study _ itself hijacked? Or does “it find only what is sought”? … on the causes of the increase in cesium 137 in the air and that without reminding the reader of the slightest rule of prudence, which would be, however, the least of all things. Worse, instilling lies like “even if one inhaled the air not far from these mushrooms, it will never have any effect on health”.
The scientific conclusion is twofold: wild mushrooms absorb cesium, concentrate it and then release it into the atmosphere via their spores. This would explain why, so they pretend, in the mountains northwest of Namie, in a difficult return zone, the Cs137 radioactivity measured in the atmosphere is multiplied by 5 in summer compared to winter, whereas elsewhere it is the reverse, in the city of Fukushima for example, (they say) Cs increases in winter …

In the end, the “scientists” say and repeat that in any case, the levels of Cs that circulate in the atmosphere because of these damn mushrooms, “it’s three times nothing” (sic!), and the Asahi will put, at the end of the article, a BIG lie:
“Last summer, levels of cesium concentration in the atmosphere, in the mountains and forests of Namie, which are planned to be decontaminated (sic!), were almost identical to those measured 1 km further in an area that had been decontaminated … ”

Note from the author who wishes to stay anonymous: Decontamination is impossible.
The propaganda spiel to prepare the public opinion for the lifting of the evacuation orders in ALL the zones, including those most uninhabitable, is in full swing!

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SIX YEARS AFTER : Wild mushrooms to blame for the spread of cesium in Fukushima

Radioactive cesium released after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant’s triple meltdown in 2011 is continuing to contaminate the environment through wild mushrooms, scientists say.

It turns out that the fungi absorb cesium and then release it through their spores after concentrating it.

But the amount of cesium in the environment is minuscule and poses no threat to human health, say the researchers, who are primarily with the Meteorological Research Institute of the Japan Meteorological Agency, Ibaraki University, and Kanazawa University.

The new findings indicate that cesium is released into the environment again by mushroom spores in mountains and forests in zones designated as difficult to return to because of high contamination levels after the nuclear accident triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Radiation levels in the air are measured at monitoring posts and disclosed to the public. Those measurements are taken at a designated height to measure radiation from the ground and in the atmosphere.

In a separate effort, a team of scientists from the Meteorological Research Institute and other bodies measured the radioactivity concentration of cesium-137 by collecting airborne particles 1 meter above ground in Fukushima Prefecture.

The team’s survey showed that cesium levels in a mountainous area in the northwestern part of the town of Namie rise five times in summer compared with winter. The region is part of the difficult-to-return zone.

The increased cesium level during summer is equivalent to less than one ten-thousandth of the radiation dose of 2.1 millisieverts, which the average individual is naturally exposed to each year.

The latest findings were in marked contrast to studies covering the prefectural capital of Fukushima and elsewhere that showed cesium levels were higher in winter than summer.

Initially, the researchers considered the possibility of cesium on the ground’s surface being kicked up by clouds of dust. But they found no clear association between the cesium level and dust.

Teruya Maki, an associate professor of microorganism ecology at Kanazawa University, analyzed genes of airborne particles gathered in forests and mountains in the northwestern part of Namie from August to September 2015.

The results showed that many of the particles were derived from mushrooms.

Between June and October last year, more than 10 kinds of wild mushrooms were gathered on 10 occasions in the region’s forests and mountains. The radioactivity concentration levels in the spores measured up to 143 becquerels per gram.

When multiplying the cesium concentration per spore by the number of collected spores per cubic meter, the result roughly matched the measured cesium concentration for the area.

Spores in which cesium was concentrated were likely released into the atmosphere, raising the airborne concentration,” said Kazuyuki Kita, an air environment science professor at Ibaraki University, who was involved in the analysis of cesium levels.

The amount of cesium contained in a spore of sampled mushrooms was extremely small.

Even if people inhale the air in areas where mushroom spores containing cesium are spreading, that could never affect human health,” said Kazuhiko Ninomiya, a researcher of radiochemistry at Osaka University, who is a member of the research team.

The researchers are also trying to ascertain the extent to which the mushroom spores spread. They are planning more studies to figure out if the distances involved could be several kilometers.

Last summer, airborne cesium concentration levels for mountains and forests in Namie that have yet to be decontaminated were almost the same as those for an area 1 kilometer away that has been decontaminated on a trial basis.

That indicates cesium is likely spreading in the air, according to the scientists.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703210001.html

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO eyes reorganization in nuclear, transmission businesses

22 March 2017 17:45

http://kyodonews.net/news/2017/03/22/105562

JAPAN NOW

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. is aiming to integrate its nuclear and power transmission and distribution businesses with other utilities to free up funds to use in dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.

According to TEPCO’s revised business turnaround plan announced Wednesday, the company will establish a consortium with other utilities to quickly facilitate its reorganization and integration plan.

The utility’s first major revision to the business turnaround plan since its formulation in January 2014 follows Japan’s industry ministry doubling its estimated total cost of the nuclear disaster cleanup to an estimated 22 trillion yen ($197 billion).

Once it finishes the overall revision, possibly in April, TEPCO intends to obtain government approval for the plan.

Under the revised plan, TEPCO is aiming to boost management efficiency and increase productivity to free up funds, and it will decide whether to postpone freeing itself from state control from the originally planned fiscal 2017 to the fiscal year starting April 2019.

The revised plan stresses the importance of reaching a basic agreement with Chubu Electric Power Co. to fully integrate their non-nuclear thermal power generation operations by this spring.

TEPCO is also planning to hold discussions with other utilities in the near future to promote the reorganization and integration of power transmission and distribution in the industry. The utility is considering acquiring related overseas operators over the medium- to long-term as part of the strategy.

The company also envisions reorganizing and integrating its nuclear operations in the future. It hopes to establish a consortium with domestic nuclear operators to secure talent and technologies, and develop new light-water reactors. The utility is also aiming to expand into overseas nuclear power generation markets, according to the plan.

The company will also seek cooperation from other power companies in reactivating its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture despite a public loss of confidence.

The prospect of the reactivation of the seven-reactor plant remains unclear with Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama having taken a cautious stance toward its restart. The latest plan does not set out a specific timeline.

As the cleanup and decommissioning costs mount, TEPCO remains under state control with the Japanese government holding majority voting rights through the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. The entity was established after the disaster to help the utility pay damages for the disaster.

TEPCO’s status has prompted concerns among other major utilities that even if they cooperate, profits generated through such arrangements could be used to pay for decommissioning and damages.

To ease such concerns, the revised turnaround plan says TEPCO will map out rules for government involvement and where the cost burden will fall.

==Kyodo

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Brazil’s Angra III nuclear project to be auctioned by 2018

Brazil’s government wants to auction the Angra III nuclear plant project by 2018, its deputy energy minister said, adding that Russian and Chinese investors are interested in finishing it.
The deputy minister, Paulo Pedrosa, expects Angra III to be completed by 2023. He also announced that the government has decided to retake Cia Energética de Minas Gerais’s power dams and put them up for auction. The contracts on the dams expired in 2015.

Angra Nuclear Power Plant is is located at the Central Nuclear Almirante Álvaro Alberto (CNAngra III) on the Itaorna Beach in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It consists of two Pressurized water reactors, Angra I, with a net output of 637 MWe, first connected to the power grid in 1985 and Angra II, with a net output of 1,350 MWe, connected in 2000.

Work on a third reactor, Angra III, with a projected output of 1,405 MWe, began in 1984 but was halted in 1986. Work started again on 1 June 2010 for entry into service in 2015 and later delayed to 2018.

http://www.poandpo.com/politics/brazils-angra-iii-nuclear-project-to-be-auctioned-by-2018-2232017679/

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

State lawmakers push for details on nuclear plant subsidies

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are continuing to push for more details about the state’s decision to make utility consumers pay up to $7.6 billion over several years to subsidize aging upstate nuclear plants.

Democrats in the state Assembly on Wednesday will call on state utility regulators to publicly release the financial review that they used to justify the decision.

 Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration argues the money will ensure the nuclear plants remain open and not be replaced by fossil fuel plants while the state shifts to greater renewable energy.

Some environmentalists and consumer advocates have objected, however, saying the investment amounts to a costly bailout for a hazardous industry.

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20170322/state-lawmakers-push-for-details-on-nuclear-plant-subsidies

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lisa Madigan will defend Exelon nuclear bailout in federal court

During the long run-up to passage of the ratepayer-financed subsidies that will keep two money-losing Illinois nuclear plants open, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was one of the most vocal critics of the legislation.

Now her office is defending the law in federal court.

After a few weeks of consideration, Madigan has decided to represent the state in a lawsuit brought by power generators that compete against nuclear plant owner Exelon. They’re challenging the constitutionality of the nuclear bailout portions of the Future Energy Jobs Act, signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner late last year and aimed at preserving Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities plants, which the company was set to shutter.

The attorney general could have recused herself and let outside lawyers represent the state in the litigation.

“The case is assigned to a unit of experienced lawyers within our office who defend the state and its agencies in court, including in lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of Illinois laws,” a Madigan spokeswoman said in an email.

For at least two years, Madigan’s office castigated the nuclear subsidies, which will be paid for via surcharges on electric bills statewide, as detrimental to consumers. At times, her representatives even questioned whether the concept would pass legal muster given that wholesale power markets are regulated by the federal government and not the states.

For its part, Exelon, which usually is at loggerheads with Madigan, professed not to be concerned.

“We have full confidence that the attorney general’s office will vigorously defend Illinois law,” a spokesman emailed.

Opposition to the subsidies, which will pump into Exelon’s coffers up to $235 million of extra revenue annually over the next decade beginning late this year, isn’t confined just to the Chicago company’s competitors.

In a court filing, an attorney for the official who functions as a sort of referee for the regional power market that includes Chicago wrote that Illinois’ nuclear subsidies are “incompatible” with the market’s design and “threaten (its) foundation.”

The independent market monitor for PJM Interconnection, which manages the multistate power grid from northern Illinois east to the mid-Atlantic, was harshly critical of the subsidies in his March 16 court filing. The attorney for market monitor Joseph Bowring explicitly repudiated Exelon’s claims that preserving at-risk nuclear plants was done for environmental reasons. In contrast to coal- and natural gas-fired plants, the nukes’ lack of carbon emissions help address climate change, according to supporters.

The subsidies, the filing stated, are “not designed to serve the public interest. (They) were requested by the owners of specific uneconomic generating units in order to improve the profitability of specific generating units. These subsidies were not requested to accomplish broader social goals. Broader social goals can be met with market-based mechanisms available to all market participants on a competitive basis and without discrimination.”

The strong words from the market monitor are noteworthy because in the past he’s staunchly supported Exelon-backed changes to PJM’s market design aimed mainly at boosting revenues for at-risk nukes.

Now, though, he sounds a lot like Attorney General Madigan.

In a state Senate committee hearing last May, Cara Hendrickson, chief of Madigan’s public interest division, said, “We are concerned about the zero emission credits (subsidies) because they interfere with the market. . . .Supply markets are set nationally. There was recently a report by PJM that indicated that state efforts to subsidize generation in the aggregate have a negative effect on the market overall. Exelon itself in other states has also made this argument as well.”

Hendrickson’s role for Madigan is different from her litigators who represent the state in legal matters. She is Madigan’s chief consumer advocate.

Still, Hendrickson’s words surely will be referenced by attorneys for the plaintiffs, which include Houston-based Dynegy, the main power generator in downstate Illinois, and Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy, an owner of coal- and natural gas-fired plants in northern Illinois.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170322/NEWS11/170329963/lisa-madigan-shifts-from-nuke-bailouts-chief-critic-to-chief-defender?utm_source=NEWS11&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chicagobusiness

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Egypt, Russia to finalise contracts for Dabaa nuclear plant within two months

The government is set to complete the agreement on two contracts with Russia regarding the Dabaa nuclear power plant within two months. The two contracts include provisions on technical support, operation, maintenance, and fuel depots.

Government sources said that Egyptian and Russian officials are meeting daily, in presence of the technical advisor for the project, WorleyParsons, and the legal adviser, Shearman & Sterling, to finalise the rest of the contracts.

The sources added that the two parties expect the contracts to be ready within two months. After the draft is completed, the contract will be sent to the State Council for approval.

The commercial contract between Egypt and Russia to establish, supply, and operate the Dabaa nuclear plant includes four agreements: the main establishment, fuel supply, technical support during operation, and establishing storage for consumer fuel.

Following the State Council’s approval, the Egyptian presidency will organise an inauguration ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Russian president Vladimir Putin. This is expected to take place in June, according to the sources.

They furthermore said that talks and consultations are ongoing egarding the spare parts of the plant and the details of their shipment, next to penalties for non-compliance regarding timely payment of instalments.

The sources added that the discussions with the Russian side are very clear and that both parties share the same concept, which is to reach the best technical, financial, and legal solutions in the contract to avoid future problems.

Egypt signed an agreement with Russia to establish a nuclear power plant in Dabaa with a capacity of 4,800MW for 30bn.

Russia will provide a government loan of 25bn to finance equipment and services for construction and operation.

The loan is used to finance 85% of the value of each contract to implement works, services, and shipments of the project. The Egyptian side will pay the remaining amount, representing 15% in the form of instalments. The amount will be paid for the benefit of the authorised Russian institutions in a way that suits the contracts, in the form of an advance or any payment that is made later after implementing works and services and delivering supplies. The term of the loan is 13 years over the period from 2016 until 2028, at a 3% annual interest rate.

http://menafn.com/1095335827/Egypt-Russia-to-finalise-contracts-for-Dabaa-nuclear-plant-within-two-months

 

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

India could launch ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against Pakistan, says expert

India could launch a pre-emptive first strike against Pakistan if it feared a nuclear attack was imminent, a leading nuclear strategist has suggested.

This first strike, however, will not be aimed at urban centres and conventional targets but against Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. The strategic assessment is in clear contrast to New Delhi’s ‘no-first strike’ policy of 2003.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” Vipin Narang, a nuclear strategist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said at a conference on nuclear policy hosted by Carnegie, a think tank, on Monday, according to the Hindustan Times.

“India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries (launch vehicles for Pakistan’s tactical battlefield nuclear warheads) in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does…

Original published: 21 March 2017 5:21 pm Read the full Karachi News here

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China not to attend nuclear weapon ban treaty negotiation

Editor: zhangrui 丨CRI

03-22-2017

http://english.cctv.com/2017/03/22/ARTIAu6iYs98NqrGMPRBtQCC170322.shtml

China has decided not to participate in the new round of negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty over a disagreement regarding the process for eliminating the weapons.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the statement at a regular press conference on Monday.

Hua said China consistently upholds and actively advocates a final comprehensive ban on and total destruction of nuclear weapons. But she emphasized that China also believes that disarmament cannot be achieved overnight, and must be pressed ahead in a gradual and incremental way following the principle of safeguarding global strategic stability and compromising the security of no country.

The choice has been made to maintain the current international arms control and disarmament regime and move ahead nuclear disarmament in a gradual and incremental way. It demonstrates China’s responsible attitude towards maintaining global strategic balance and stability, added Hua.

All five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, the U.S, the U.K., Russia and France – will not attend the new round of negotiations scheduled on March 27.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment