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U.N. food agency ‘convinced’ that Fukushima food is safe to eat

We certainly would like to know the details about the test methods… This shows very well the stance of the UN toward health issues related to radiation. FAO corroborates with IAEA for food testing.



Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Rome on May 3.

ROME–Food produced in Fukushima Prefecture is safe, but continued monitoring will be needed to ensure that remains the case, according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization’s top official.

We’ve been following this issue very closely,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, referring to the safety of agricultural products and other food items grown and manufactured in the prefecture.

We are also periodically testing samples to certify that the food presents no danger to human beings. For the moment we are convinced that there is no immediate problem with the food coming from that area.”

He added that maintaining control over the situation is crucial.

The Rome-based FAO began conducting checks on food products from Fukushima in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

Da Silva said he is happy with measures that the Japanese government has implemented as precautions for consumers and assistance to local farmers as they comply with international regulations.

His comments came ahead of his first visit to Japan in four years, scheduled from May 9.

In addition to meetings with Japanese government officials, Da Silva is expected to participate in an event organized by the Japanese Foreign Ministry in which attendees will sample desserts made with fruits grown in the prefecture.

Da Silva also said he expects to learn more about the Japanese diet to address the global issue of obesity, which he described as the “most important problem” in advanced countries.

Japan is our best example,” he said of the nation’s lowest obesity rate among the developed world. “We want to learn more about what the Japanese do to avoid obesity. This is part of the culture; your traditional diet is even recognized by UNESCO as a healthy diet.”

Japan’s contribution to the FAO is the second largest after the United States, and its funds have been used to install an irrigation system in Afghanistan.

The FAO, working with Tokyo, is set to increase its number of Japanese staff over a five-year program as the country is under-represented at the organization.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Forest fire in the exclusion zone in Fukushima: Why monitoring the radiation dose is not enough for radioprotection

It was announced that the forest fire in Namie was reduced on May 6. Today, on May 7, we still do not have confirmation of the fire’s extinction. Meanwhile, surfing on the internet, we have noticed that many people were looking for radiation dose information, and relied on it for radioprotection.

Since we also received several questions and comments, we have decided to publish additional comments of M.Yoichi Ozawa of “Fukuichi (Fukushima Daiichi) Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project”, seen below.

In order to protect yourself from radiation, you must take into account both the radiation dose and the contamination. In the case of the radiation dose, you can imagine something like fixed paint. It requires radioprotection measures against external exposure. For example, in a high-dose place, you control the amount of exposure by staying a shorter period of time. The dose is expressed by units like Sv/h.

Contamination is like a floating powder, which can enter the body by breathing, eating and drinking, and cause internal irradiation. The radioprotection requires equipment such as clothes and masks. Contamination is taken into account in terms of the surface contamination density and the concentration of radioactive substances in the air.

The surface contamination density is the radioactivity per unit area, where radioactive materials are deposited or absorbed on the surface of the material. It is expressed by units such as Bq/cm2 and Bq/m2.

The concentration of radioactive material in the air is expressed by units such as Bq/cm3 or Bq/m3.

The following is a table in the radioprotection training textbook used in the crippled TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The radioprotection is staged according to the classified areas. The lines in the table show the radiation dose, whereas the columns show contamination (in terms of the surface contamination density and the concentration of radioactive substances in the air). The combination gives 12 areas from 1A to 3D areas, and the radioprotection measures for workers are adapted accordingly.
For example, in the D areas workers are provided with a full mask and an oxygen cylinder.





Similarly, in the regions affected by the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, we must consider the means of radioprotection by taking into account both the radiation dose and contamination.

In the case of environmental contamination, the air contamination density changes according to conditions such as fire, wind, and rain. Therefore, to protect ourselves, we need to monitor continuously not only during but also after the fire.

Furthermore, it has to be noted that monitoring post and air dust sampling show only gamma rays represented by cesium 137. Strontium 90 and plutonium 239 which emit beta and alpha rays that are most damaging in cases of internal irradiation are not measured. Aside from the question of the amount, these are certainly floating, and the risk of internal exposure cannot be ignored.

Please refer to the contamination map of the areas where the evacuation orders were lifted from last year to this year.
In light of this map and the TEPCO manual, you can see that there are many places in the area where you can return, and where you should wear heavy equipment with a full mask if you were a worker in a nuclear power plant.

The scandalous deficiency of the health scheme in Fukushima

Incredible contamination in Namie, Fukushima

New data show massive radiation levels in Odaka, Minamisoma

In such an environment, ordinary people without a manual, nor professional radioprotection training are allowed to return, including babies and pregnant women.

In addition, whereas the workers are protected by the radiation protection standards shown in the table, in the context of minimization of the accident, residents are exposed to highly radio-contaminated environments without equipment.

If you think about it, it just does not make sense.



May 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear disaster gave everyone on Earth extra radiation

« …Researchers still believe the overall exposure to have been negligible in the grand scheme of things… » A nicely turned lie in the grand scheme !

« …Of course, the robots sent in to do the dirty work haven’t been nearly as lucky… » Yes, no joke !



Japan’s nuclear disaster gave everyone on Earth extra radiation

It’s been over half a decade since Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown due to the effects of a tsunami which struck the island nation, but scientists are only just now confirming its far-reaching effects. After conducting the first worldwide survey to measure the ultimate radiation exposure caused by the reactor meltdown, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research finally have a figure on exactly how much extra radiation humanity was exposed to.

According to the group’s data, over 80 percent of the radiation that was released by the meltdown ended up in either the ocean or ice at the north and south poles. Of the remaining radiation, each human on the planet received roughly 0.1 millisievert, which equates to about “one extra X-ray each,” according to the team.

That amount of radiation isn’t likely to have much of an effect on humanity, however, and in comparison to the normal amount of radiation each of us receives over the course of a year, which can be as high as 3.65 millisieverts on average, it’s hardly anything. In fact, as NewScientist notes, a typical CT scan exposes you to 15 millisieverts on its own, and radiation sickness doesn’t occur until you reach the 1,000 millisievert threshold.

Obviously, those living the the vicinity of the reactor, especially in the immediate aftermath of the meltdown, can expect to have received a good deal more radiation as a result, but the researchers still believe the overall exposure to have been negligible in the grand scheme of things. Of course, the robots sent in to do the dirty work haven’t been nearly as lucky.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

We have the secret data on nuclear programs of several nations – says computer hacking group

The hacking group that leaked NSA secrets claims it has data on foreign nuclear programs, WP,  May 16 2017The hacking group that leaked the bugs that enabled last week’s global ransomware attack is threatening to make public even more computer vulnerabilities in the coming weeks — potentially including “compromised network data” pertaining to the nuclear or missile programs of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia, as well as vulnerabilities affecting Windows 10, which is run by millions of computers worldwide.

A spokesperson for the group, which calls itself the Shadow Brokers, claimed in a blog post Tuesday that some of those computer bugs may be released on a monthly basis as part of a new subscription-based business model that attempts to mimic what has proved successful for companies such as Spotify, Netflix, Blue Apron and many more……..

Marcy Wheeler, a longtime independent researcher, said in a blog post Tuesday that the Shadow Brokers’ post “brings the hammer” down both on Microsoft, whose products could be affected by any further leaks, and the U.S. National Security Agency, whose information the Shadow Brokers leaked in April. That leak led indirectly to the creation of WannaCry and the subsequent crisis, security experts say.

“Simply by threatening another leak after leaking two sets of Microsoft exploits, Shadow Brokers will ratchet up the hostility between Microsoft and the government,” Wheeler wrote…….

The group’s new claim that it possesses information on the nuclear programs of state governments is extremely worrisome, said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington think tank. “While they don’t seem to have the most amazing PR department,” he said, “they’ve already proved that they had some pretty serious access. The nuke facility stuff is particularly concerning, [speaking] as a former physicist.”

Previously, the group had sought to sell its hacking tools to the highest bidder. Few buyers came forward, the group said in its blog post. But now, the monthly subscription model might mean the bugs will find their way into the hands of more people, spreading far and wide, Hall said.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Britain’s new nuclear danger: cyber security attacks

David Lowry’s Blog 15th May 2017 The cyber security attack on Friday has highlighted the vulnerability of UK national infrastructure to malicious cyber threats. So far it is the impact on the NHS that has hit the headlines.

But it could be far worse: what if it were our nuclear power plants that were disrupted? Next week- from 22 to 24 May – the Vienna –based World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) , headed by the former head of security at Sellafield, Dr Roger Howsley, is participating in the 2nd Annual Industrial Control Cyber Security Nuclear Summit, in Warrington, organised by Cyber Senate entitled with an important presentation entitled“Transformation, Preparedness and Developing Cyber Security Assurance”.

It is instructive to listen to the words of Russian cyber security expert, Eugene Kasperksy, founder and ceo of the Moscow-based Kasperksy Labs, warns governments engaged in cyber warfare that “everything you do – it’s a boomerang: it will get back to you.”

Four years ago he warned that Russian nuclear power plant infected by Stuxnet malware programme – widely believed to have been created by the US and Israel – had infected a Russian nuclear power plant.

Speaking at the Canberra Press Club 2013 in Australia’s capital city. Kasperksy recounted a story from “the Stuxnet time” when a friend of his working in an unnamed nuclear power plant reported that the plant’s computers were “badly infected by Stuxnet”. Kaspersky criticized government departments responsible for engineering cyber-attacks, The Stuxnet virus was first discovered in June 2010 and was found to specifically target industrial control systems manufactured by Siemens. The initial target of  the virus is widely thought to have been the centrifuges used in Iran’s uranium enrichment programme. Although the goal of the virus was extremely specific, its method of proliferation was indiscriminate and the code has since been found on computers across the world……

May 17, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Global nuclear lobby very upset at election of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in

New South Korean President Seen Hindering Nuclear Ambitions, Bloomberg by Stephen Stapczynski

May 16, 2017, 
  • Moon Jae-in campaigned to block new reactor construction
  • Kepco shares fell 5.8% on May 10 following election results

“… South Korea’s Moon Jae-in promised during his successful presidential campaign to scrap or suspend new atomic plants.

Now that Moon is president, that anti-nuclear stance is seen as a threat to South Korea’s ambitions to become a bigger exporter of nuclear equipment and technology — a market valued at as much as $740 billion over the next 10 years.

“If the new government withdraws its support for nuclear development in South Korea, this could send a negative signal to foreign countries looking to purchase reactors,” Kerry-Anne Shanks, a Singapore-based analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by email. “An anti-nuclear stance could challenge Korea’s ambitions to export nuclear technology to other countries.”………

Besides the curbs on new nuclear facilities, Moon also campaigned to cancel any lifetime extensions for existing nuclear plants and to develop a roadmap to eventually rid the nation of atomic power altogether. In nuclear’s place, Moon would place greater emphasis on natural gas and renewables. On Monday, the new president ordered the shutdown for the month of June of 10 coal-fired power plants that have been operating for more than 30 years to cut pollution…..

“Exporting nuclear power plants requires substantial up-front financial support from the vendor and its home government,” said Rod Adams, publisher of Atomic Insights, an industry news website. “There is already some evidence suggesting that the anti-nuclear stance of President Moon Jae-in will make it more difficult for South Korea to export nuclear reactors.”…..

May 17, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

Nuclear power in South Korea is forcefully opposed by Catholics

South Korean Catholics rally against use of nuclear power, .- South Korean Catholics are opposing both the country’s reliance on nuclear power and the U.S. missile defense system recently established to pressure the North out of future weapon tests.

A major leader of the anti-nuclear movement, Father Moon Paul Kyu-Hyn, said “getting rid of nuclear power is the only way to survive, to save ourselves, and save the world,” according to Public Radio International.

A missile defense system has caused tensions between the U.S. and China as well as between China and South Korea. The country’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has emphasized his goal to solve the issues in the Korean Peninsula.

Father Moon expressed his disappointed in the new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD, which became operational on May 2 in the Korean Peninsula. An agreement to install the system was established between the United States and South Korea’s former president, recently incarcerated for political corruption.

“THAAD is a weapon of war. You can’t be for peace if you’re preparing for war,” said Father Moon, an activist who spent three years in jail for illegally crossing over into North Korea in 1989.

He is now leading the charge on the anti-nuclear demonstrations participated by the clergy and lay people, who are opposed the expansion of nuclear power in all of Korea and the rest of the world. The group recently gathered in downtown Seoul to collect a million signatures for support against nuclear energy.

Nearly a third of the country’s electrical consumption relies on nuclear power from over 20 nuclear reactors. Moon Jae-in, who was confirmed president this week, promised to halt expansion of nuclear power and focus on clean energy during a campaign speech in April.

The push to remove nuclear power has increased in South Korea since three plants in Fukushima had a meltdown in 2011 caused by a Tsunami along the shores of Japan. The meltdown forced over 100,000 people to be evacuated from their homes, and the government is still cautious to allow everyone to return due to fears of radiation poison.

In an interview with Public Radio International, Father Cho Hyun-chul, a theology professor at Sogang University in Seoul, said if there is a similar accident revolving South Korea’s power plants then there would be “no room for us to live here. There is no more safe land.”

He continued to say that the destruction nuclear power can cause is “directly against God’s intention,” and the movement is stressing the need to care for the environment – a need heavily emphasized by Pope Francis especially in his encyclical Laudato Si.

The Pope recognized the “tremendous power” nuclear energy has gifted to humanity, but he also spoke against its dangers to the environment and the risk of being used improperly. He said a global consensus to focus on clean and renewable energy is essential for sustaining the earth.

“Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy,” Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si.

According to Reuters, President Moon promised to ease away from nuclear energy in a campaign speech in April. The head for the president’s team on energy policy said South Korea “should move away from coal and nuclear power, and shift to clean or renewable energy-based platforms,” and that he would stop the plans to construct two new reactors in the south of the country.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, South Korea | 1 Comment

30 years of warnings on Hanford nuclear site un-safety have been ignored

Thousands of workers were forced to shelter after a roof collapsed at a waste site created in the 1950s and mostly ignored since then, Center for Public Integrity, By Peter CaryPatrick Malone, May 13, 2017 
A series of warnings by state and federal experts, stretching back more than thirty years, preceded this week’s cave-in of a tunnel in Hanford, Washington, that holds lethally radioactive debris from the U.S. nuclear weapons program, according to government documents.

A report in 1980 for the Energy Department, which oversees safety and cleanup work at the site, said that wooden beams holding up the tunnel had lost a third of their strength by then. A contractor for the department pointed to the issue again in 1991, warning that by the year 2001, the beams would be further degraded.

A group of academic experts, working under contract to the department, said more alarmingly in a 1,969-page report in August 2015 that the roof of the tunnel in question had been seriously weakened and that a “partial or complete failure” could expose individuals even 380 feet away to dangerous levels of radiation.

No action was taken by the department in response, and earlier this month — the precise date remains uncertain because conditions at the site were not closely monitored — a portion of the roof collapsed at the tunnel, creating a 20-foot square hole. Afterward, the managers of the Hanford site were forced on May 9 to order 3,000 workers to shelter indoors. But instead of shoring up the beams inside the tunnel in question, they poured in 54 new truckloads of dirt.

The tunnel was one of two at the Energy Department’s Hanford reservation used as dumping grounds from 1960 to 2000 for radioactive machine parts, vessels, and other equipment. It was, in short, a tangible expression of the department’s policy of covering over some of its nuclear bomb-making detritus and effectively pretending it isn’t there.

The neglect followed a blunt warning 26 years ago from the State of Washington — cited in a 1991 Energy Department contractor’s report — that the tunnels were not a safe repository and that the wastes should be moved elsewhere.

Under an agreement overseen by a federal court in eastern Washington, the department was supposed to start crafting a way to deal with the tunnel’s lethal dangers by September 2015, but it missed the deadline and promised to do it later this year as part of an overall agreement with the state and the Environmental Protection Agency to push back completion of the site’s overall cleanup from 2024 to 2042. (Hanford remains the most toxic site in America and the government’s most costly environmental cleanup task.)…….

In the 1991 report, by Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc., the authors made clear after conducting an internal inspection of the tunnel that the DOE knew the timbers holding up the roof had been substantially weakened as early as 1980. It predicted that by 2001, they would be at 60 percent of their original strength and recommended another evaluation in 2001. But records indicate that it never happened.

A Department of Ecology inspection in 2015 noted that because the tunnels were closed up, “no permanent emergency equipment, communications equipment, warning systems, personal protective equipment, or spill control and containment supplies” were located inside — deficiencies that could complicate emergency efforts in the case of a tunnel fire or other safety incident.

A Government Accountability Office estimate in 2016 placed the total cost of cleaning up the toxic legacy of the U.S. nuclear weapon program at more than $250 billion.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry in financial meltdown

This is no short-term trend.  While gas and renewables get cheaper, the price of nuclear power only rises. 

Most environmentalists are ardent opponents of the nuclear industry. For many the prime concern is its poor safety record. Others recoil at the inescapable technological link to nuclear weapons production and at nuclear’s many unresolved problems

Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?, Yale Environment 360  From Europe to Japan to the U.S., nuclear power is in retreat, as plants are being shuttered, governments move toward renewables, and key companies face financial troubles. Even some of the industry’s biggest boosters believe nuclear is on the way out.   Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes?  Even some nuclear enthusiasts believe so. With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear — existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies.

In an astonishing hammer blow to a global industry in late March, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse — the original developer of the workhorse of the global nuclear industry, the pressurized-water reactor (PWR), and for many decades the world’s largest provider of nuclear technology — filed for bankruptcy after hitting big problems with its latest reactor design, the AP1000.

Largely as a result, its parent company, the Japanese nuclear engineering giant Toshiba, is also in dire financial straits and admits there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern.

Meanwhile, France’s state-owned Électricité de France (EDF), Europe’s biggest builder and operator of nuclear power plants, is deep in debt thanks to its own technical missteps and could become a victim of the economic and energy policies of incoming President Emmanuel Macron.

Those three companies account for more than half of all nuclear power generation worldwide. Their “looming insolvency … has set off a chain reaction of events that threatens the existence of nuclear power in the West,” says Michael Shellenberger, president of the pro-nuclear NGO, Environmental Progress.

“The nuclear industry as we have known it is coming to an end,” says Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute, a California eco-modernist think tank that advocates for nuclear power.

Can this be true?

The U.S. remains the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, with about 100 commercial reactors in operation. New construction virtually shut down after the near-meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979. Recently, a stuttering renaissance has been under way.  Westinghouse has been building four new reactors at Waynesboro, Georgia, and Jenkinsville, South Carolina.

But those reactors have hit regulatory holdups and technical problems that have pushed cost overruns to an estimated $13 billion. And with Westinghouse in financial meltdown, it is now far from clear that they ever will be finished.

Meanwhile across the country, utilities are shutting existing plants from California to Wisconsin to Vermont, often long before the end of their design life, because they cannot compete with cheap fracked gas or, increasingly, with wind and solar power. Fourteen power reactors have shut since 2012.

This is no short-term trend.  While gas and renewables get cheaper, the price of nuclear power only rises. This is in large part to meet safety concerns linked to past reactor disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima and to post-9/11 security worries, and also a result of utilities factoring in the costs of decommissioning their aging reactors.  ……..

Shellenberger suggests that an Asian takeover might be a good thing for the West. A beaten and bankrupt industry built on high-cost, bespoke construction could be ripe for annexation by companies that have learned to mass-produce reactors based on old Westinghouse PWR designs and that have replaced nuclear scientists with engineers and experimentation with replication. “What makes nuclear plants safer and cheaper to build and operate is experience, not new designs,” Shellenberger says……..

Most environmentalists are nonetheless ardent opponents of the nuclear industry. For many the prime concern is its poor safety record. Others recoil at the inescapable technological link to nuclear weapons production and at nuclear’s many unresolved problems with waste disposal and decommissioning; they also see nuclear as a rival for investment in renewables, their preferred choice for a low-carbon future. They would happily consign nuclear power to the dustbin of history……..

the industry is in crisis. It looks ever more like a 20th- century industrial dinosaur, unloved by investors, the public, and policymakers alike. The crisis could prove terminal.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

A nuclear attack: how would you fare, even if you survived the blast?

Nuclear attack: ‘A third of the world would die’ Cody Cassidy, Paul Doherty | 17th May 2017, DURING the Cold War it was widely understood that both the United States and the USSR had the capability to destroy the world with nuclear weapons. What people didn’t know was how easily they actually could do it.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France Gets EU Approval For 3 Schemes To Develop 17 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy.

Clean Tech 12th May 2017 The European Commission has approved France’s request to develop three separate schemes that are intended to support the development of more
than 17 gigawatts worth of new renewable energy capacity. The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, on May 5 approved three separate schemes for the development of small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France, which would allow France to develop more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

The onshore wind scheme will have a provisional budget of €1 billion per year, and will grant support for 15 GW of new capacity over the next 10 years. The projects are intended to be small projects, taking the form of what is called a premium on top of the market price, or in French, complement de remunération, providing support to operators of small-scale onshore installations of less than 6 wind turbines that themselves are no more than 3 megawatts (MW) in capacity….

May 17, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, France | Leave a comment

India’s secret radioactive horror story – Jadugoda

The Terrible Things Happening To Children In India’s ‘Nuclear Graveyard’ Will Scar You For Life [PHOTOGRAPHS] scoopwhoop.comby Era Tangar, 16 May 17   “…….Jadugoda, a town of 19,500 people about 1,370km from New Delhi, is a four-hour drive from Ranchi, Jharkhand. In 1967, this tribal town became the site for India’s first nuclear mine. It is often called India’s best kept secret. The government-owned Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) mines for uranium in the region. The small township is home to the world’s finest uranium ore, magnesium diuranate,

Locals were initially ecstatic because this would increase employment opportunities. Over the past 40 years, the UCIL has conducted indiscriminate and unchecked uranium mining. This has destroyed local environment and the health of the tribal population. The toxic emission has caused facial tumours, mascular dystrophy, deformed skeletons, lung cancer and curved spines, to name a few.

The crimes of the UCIL have been under-reported in the media. There are articles and documentaries portraying the state of the town and the areas nearby but not much has been done as a follow up while people of Jadugoda continue to suffer for 50 years now. India’s nuclear dream has costed the well-being of Jharkhand’s tribals and made them suffer in silence. ……..  Share the word about Jadugoda till it reaches someone who can help these innocent souls.

 Photographs by Ashish Birulee.

These photos were featured at the 3rd International Uranium Film Festival, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, World Uranium Symposium in Quebec City, Canada 2015, World Nuclear Victims Forum, 2015 in Hiroshima, Japan and at UCCJ International Youth Conference in Kyoto, Japan 2017.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | environment, health, India, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby in USA and Australia gives misleading critiques on renewable energy

  • Overcoming the military-industrial complex: nuclear has always been a centralized industry, with just a few firms that have very close contacts to the government. And keeping nuclear skills for military purposes seems to be a driver in the UK’s push for new nuclear.
The US (and Australian) nuclear camp critiques studies for 100% renewables. Without reading them. Energy Transition ,by Craig Morris, 15 May 2017

Over the past year, the Anglo world has become interested in nuclear as a complement for wind and solar towards “deep decarbonization,” or a (nearly) 100% carbon-free supply of energy or possibly just electricity. Today, Craig Morris reviews a few papers by Americans and Australians and advises them to tackle the best European studies for 100% renewables head-on, not ignore them.

The first paper is by Stephen Brick and Samuel Thernstrom. Thernstrom has been calling nuclear “an essential part of the puzzle” since at least 2010. The paper is peer-reviewed; unfortunately, none of the reviewers noticed the oversights I found. But let’s start off with a contention the authors state in the introduction:

“In seeking to demonstrate that renewables can by themselves replace all fossil fuels and nuclear energy, these studies run the risk of treating renewables as a societal end in itself, instead of just one among a suite of technologies that could be used to achieve the combined goals of environmental protection, cost-containment, and electric system reliability.”

Why shouldn’t renewables be an end in themselves? Assuming nuclear power (plus whatever) is the cheapest low-carbon option, might other impacts society dislikes relativize the low price? To name just a few examples (and we’ll leave out whatever nuclear risks may or may not exist):

  • Overcoming the military-industrial complex: nuclear has always been a centralized industry, with just a few firms that have very close contacts to the government. And keeping nuclear skills for military purposes seems to be a driver in the UK’s push for new nuclear.
  • Transparency in democracy: as numerous authors from various countries have found, the nuclear sector has always come at the expense of open democracy. Strikes, for instance, are a safety issue.
  • Stronger economic growth in communities, especially rural ones: if communities can make their own energy, why would they want to pay some out-of-town corporation, even if the energy is slightly cheaper? People simply are willing to pay more for quality, and local jobs are a quality (not to mention being energy-independent). The price is relative when you pay it back to your community…….

the real problem here is that lower consumption does not jibe with nuclear historically. Nuclear originally promised nearly unlimited electricity, and the technology’s supporters say more energy is needed, not less, especially in developing countries. Here is one pro-nuclear group attacking, for instance, renewables advocate Amory Lovins’ call for efficiency. Nuclear proponents often depict the efficiency aims (= lower consumption) called for by renewables proponents as unrealistic.

In contrast, the renewables camp sees efficiency as crucial because, for instance, we don’t have enough sustainable biomass to support our wasteful habits today. In addition to efficient devices, “sufficiency” – changing lifestyles to make do with what Mother Nature gives us – is therefore crucial. Switching to an electric car is not enough; we will need to walk and cycle more, both of which require compact neighborhoods (a societal, not technical, issue)………

The overlooked update

What’s worse, in their 2017 paper Heard at al. discuss Mathiesen’s 2009 paper on a 100% renewable Denmark as though nothing had happened since. The six-page summary (PDF in English) of the follow-up 2014 scenario is admittedly sparse on details, but we can see a plan taking shape. In 2015, Mathiesen, not unknown to my readers, and his team then fleshed everything out in a 159-page PDF (in English), including a new scenario called the IDA Energy Vision. As you can see below, [table on original] biomass is still based as much as possible on waste, and the rest is mainly wind power. This is what a 100% scenario looks like when you do the footwork for a given country. It would look much different in, say, Saudi Arabia, with very little wind but ample solar. It would also look different in countries with lots of hydropower. One conclusion is thus that investigating 100% renewables is hard without saying where.

In the end, we are left with a discussion in the English-speaking world held by nuclear advocates about 100% renewable energy, in which too little notice is taken of the main studies in two leading countries investigating “deep decarbonization” without nuclear or CCS: Denmark and Germany. What’s worse, not a single journalist covering these papers, including’s David Roberts (one of the best) pointed out the oversight. America’s best minds write about 100% renewables, and no one notices the gaps. As President Trump might say: sad.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Inadequate radiation shielding for USA workers handling highly radioactive liquid waste from Canada

Hotspot on Unloading Equipment Reveals Failed Radiation Shielding, Beyond Nuclear 17 May 17  Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina— According to a U.S. federal agency document just released on Friday May 12, the first of 100-150 truckloads of highly radioactive liquid waste from Canada has been unloaded at the Savannah River Site, and the transfer container has not provided fully adequate radiological shielding to protect workers.

 A document published by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), a U.S. federal agency, has confirmed that the first truck shipment of “Target Residue Material (TRM),” or “liquid Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU),” arrived from Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) HCanyon in SRS, the week ending April 21. (The document was not made publicly available until May 12, however).
The DNFSB document went on to report that “Each container of HEU is pulled from the shipping cask into a shielded “pig” that provides radiological shielding for HCanyon personnel. After loading a pig, radiological protection (RP) identified an unexpected hotspot on the side of the pig indicating that the pig was not providing adequate radiological shielding……..

May 17, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Owners of unfinished Vogtle nuclear power plant to cap Toshiba’s liabilities

Power plant owners limit Toshiba’s Westinghouse liabilities: sources, Reuters, By Tom Hals and Jessica DiNapoli , 15 May 17  WILMINGTON, DEL/NEW YORK The owners of the unfinished Vogtle power plant in Georgia led by Southern Co (SO.N) agreed to cap Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) responsibility for its guarantees on the much-delayed nuclear project, helping ease the Japanese electronics maker’s financial stress, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The agreement pegs Toshiba’s guarantees for the unfinished Vogtle plant at about $3.6 billion, payable over at least three years, the people said, adding the deal was not yet final.

The deal is also contingent on the owners of the incomplete V.C. Summer power plant in South Carolina, including utility company SCANA Corp (SCG.N), coming to a similar agreement with Toshiba, said the people, who could not be identified because the talks are not public………

May 17, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment