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June 9 Energy News

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Science and Technology:

¶ China has released a massive solar-powered drone. The drone has a 40-meter wingspan but weighs only 400 kilograms. The superlight drone is designed to stay in constant flight at 20,000 meters for days by using renewable energy to power its eight electrical propellers. It can travel up to speeds of 200 kilometers per hour! [Interesting Engineering]

Chinese drone (China Daily image)

¶ There are no specific guidelines in the US for the ability of offshore wind turbines to withstand storms. Offshore wind turbines built to current standards may not be able to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, according to a new study done by the University of Colorado at Boulder in collaboration with the US DOE. [Science Times]

Process Safety and Environmental Protection published a study that demonstrates the viability of using anaerobic digestion in a low-temperature (20° C) environment to convert solid…

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June 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ibaraki nuclear research facility under scrutiny after accident; gas suspected in rupture

oarai - mainichi 8 juin 2017.png

 

OARAI, Ibaraki — A nuclear research facility here has come under scrutiny after workers were exposed to radiation while checking radioactive materials that had remained in storage for 26 years.

One of the workers exposed to radiation in the accident at the Oarai Research & Development Center of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on June 6, identified as a male in his 50s, was found with up to 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 in his lungs, raising fears he could develop cancer or suffer other health problems.

According to the JAEA, the total level of radioactive materials that entered the man’s blood, bones, organs and other parts of his body was estimated at 360,000 becquerels, based on the amount detected in his lungs.

Problems with safety management at the agency had already been pointed out, and focus is likely to turn toward whether the work at the time of the accident was appropriate.

The agency said that when the worker opened the bolted lid of a steel container during a check, the plastic bag inside ruptured, scattering dust containing uranium and plutonium. Two other workers were next to the worker at the time, assisting in the check.

The some 300 grams of dust was produced when fuel was created for the onsite Joyo experimental fast reactor, which first reached criticality in 1977. It had been placed in a polyethylene container, enclosed in two plastic bags, and then placed in a steel container, where it had been stored since 1991. There were no records to show that the container had been opened before, officials said.

The latest check was being conducted after the Nuclear Regulation Authority had pointed out problems with the management of fuel at another JAEA facility. The JAEA had planned to check 21 steel containers containing uranium and plutonium dust. The accident on June 6 occurred during a check of the first of these containers.

Why did the plastic bag rupture? Kazuya Idemitsu, a professor in the Laboratory of Energy Materials Science at Kyushu University, commented, “Over time, the atomic nuclei of uranium, plutonium and other such substances break down, releasing helium nuclei (alpha rays). When stored over a long time, helium gas would build up, and it’s possible that the pressure inside the container rose, resulting in the rupture.”

Sources close to the JAEA also acknowledged this possibility, with one commenting, “It may not have been a good idea to use a polyethylene container, which had a possibility of rupturing, for storage over a long period.”

On June 7, the Ibaraki prefectural and Oarai municipal governments conducted an on-site inspection of the Oarai Research & Development Center under a nuclear safety agreement. Seventeen officials viewed the inside of the analysis room where the accident occurred through a monitor, and examined the concentration of radioactive materials in expelled air.

Masaaki Kondo, a safety coordinator at the prefectural nuclear power safety division, commented, “We confirmed that the damage did not spread.” The Mito Labor Standards Inspection Office and prefectural police are investigating the cause of the accident and whether the work that led to it was appropriate.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170608/p2a/00m/0na/018000c

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear export strategy struggles despite India deal

Reactor manufacturers falter, from Toshiba to Areva

0608N_Japan_India_article_main_imageIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe reached a final agreement on the nuclear cooperation pact last November.

 

Japan’s push to increase exports of nuclear technology has been cooled by Toshiba’s Westinghouse problems, undercutting a pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic growth strategy just as a pact with India comes into effect.

The Diet’s upper house approved a nuclear cooperation deal with India on Wednesday. India plans to boost its nuclear power production capabilities tenfold as economic growth fuels energy demand.

India and Japan began negotiations in 2010, reaching an agreement in November when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Abe. Japan will revise related directives for its Nuclear Regulation Authority. India already greenlighted the pact, which takes effect once both countries notify each other of such approval. This could happen as early as July.

India has 22 nuclear plants in operation and five under construction, the International Atomic Energy Agency says. The country plans to source one-quarter of its energy from nuclear power by 2050.

“Population and economic growth will further strain energy supply and demand,” said Satoshi Shimizu of the Japan Research Institute. “There is a lot of room for Japan to export nuclear power.”

But Japan’s export efforts have not gone according to plan. In June 2016, the U.S. and India reached a basic agreement on a deal commissioning Toshiba’s American subsidiary Westinghouse Electric to build six nuclear reactors. Japan had rushed to finalize the pact with India since Toshiba would be involved in supplying parts, but Westinghouse’s bankruptcy protection filing in March has thrown the conglomerate into crisis.

More global headwinds buffet the industry. Severe delays in the construction of nuclear power facilities by France’s Areva have ballooned losses, with the French government now leading the company’s reorganization. Vietnam canceled nuclear energy plans in November due to financial reasons and local opposition.

“Conditions have changed due to Toshiba and other issues,” said Takeo Kitsukawa, a professor at Tokyo University of Science. “The first issue is how to get [nuclear reactor] manufacturers back on their feet.”

A separate document indicates that Japan will cease cooperation should India break a 2008 pledge, made by its foreign minister at the time, to suspend nuclear tests. India has maintained its moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998.

Japan’s opposition Democratic Party disapproves of the India deal because the provision halting cooperation is not included in the agreement itself, and thus may offer insufficient legal guarantees limiting nuclear technology exports to peaceful uses. Opposition parties also worry that India is not a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

http://s.nikkei.com/2sEJqcu

 

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 and 220 becquerels of americium-241 found in lungs of nuclear facility worker

Oarai  .jpg

 

No one has inhaled this much plutonium’: 5 staff exposed to radiation in Japan lab accident

Japanese authorities are unsure about the medical prognosis for five staffers who inhaled toxic plutonium after mishandling it at the Oarai Research and Development Center outside Tokyo.

As far as I can remember, no one has inhaled plutonium at this level,” said Ishikawa Keiji, a security official at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) which oversees the lab, cited by the Jiji Press news agency.

The accident occurred at 11:15am on Tuesday in the analysis room of the facility dedicated to researching improved nuclear fuel for its fast reactors.

One of the five men opened a metallic cylinder where the fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium, is stored before and after experiments. In the process, the double plastic wrapping inside which the radioactive material is kept ripped, and the toxic substance burst into the air.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which has frequently criticized the JAEA for the conditions at its facilities, said “workplace complacency” was possibly to blame.

The NRA said the workers had never experienced a similar plastic rip before, and as a result, did not feel the need to complete their research in a tightly sealed environment.

The researcher responsible for opening the box, described as a man in his 50s, had 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 detected in his lungs, and the other four between 2,200 and 14,000 becquerels.

Officials said the five staff have not yet complained of health problems with one assuring that “the amount is not enough to cause acute radiation damage,” according to the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

The longer-term predictions were less definitive, however.

Detection of 22,000 becquerels is a situation that cannot be easily brushed aside. It is no small amount, although it may not be life-threatening,” said Nobuhiko Ban, an NRA radiological protection specialist, quoted by The Asahi Shimbun. 

The five have been injected with a substance that speeds up the discharge of radioactive materials and remain under observation at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology.

The NRA has previously said that JEAA was “unfit” to operate an accident-plagued prototype reactor at Monju and has also faced accusations of poor handling of radioactive materials at another site.

But a use for Japan’s large plutonium stockpile must be found, and there are currently plans for utilizing MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium and uranium, such as that involved in the latest accident – to power conventional reactors instead of the low-enriched uranium that they were designed for.

https://www.rt.com/news/391283-japan-nuclear-accident-plutonium/

No one has inhaled this much plutonium’: 5 staff exposed to radiation in Japan lab accident

Japanese authorities are unsure about the medical prognosis for five staffers who inhaled toxic plutonium after mishandling it at the Oarai Research and Development Center outside Tokyo.

As far as I can remember, no one has inhaled plutonium at this level,” said Ishikawa Keiji, a security official at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) which oversees the lab, cited by the Jiji Press news agency.

The accident occurred at 11:15am on Tuesday in the analysis room of the facility dedicated to researching improved nuclear fuel for its fast reactors.

One of the five men opened a metallic cylinder where the fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium, is stored before and after experiments. In the process, the double plastic wrapping inside which the radioactive material is kept ripped, and the toxic substance burst into the air.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which has frequently criticized the JAEA for the conditions at its facilities, said “workplace complacency” was possibly to blame.

The NRA said the workers had never experienced a similar plastic rip before, and as a result, did not feel the need to complete their research in a tightly sealed environment.

The researcher responsible for opening the box, described as a man in his 50s, had 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 detected in his lungs, and the other four between 2,200 and 14,000 becquerels.

Officials said the five staff have not yet complained of health problems with one assuring that “the amount is not enough to cause acute radiation damage,” according to the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

The longer-term predictions were less definitive, however.

Detection of 22,000 becquerels is a situation that cannot be easily brushed aside. It is no small amount, although it may not be life-threatening,” said Nobuhiko Ban, an NRA radiological protection specialist, quoted by The Asahi Shimbun. 

The five have been injected with a substance that speeds up the discharge of radioactive materials and remain under observation at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology.

The NRA has previously said that JEAA was “unfit” to operate an accident-plagued prototype reactor at Monju and has also faced accusations of poor handling of radioactive materials at another site.

But a use for Japan’s large plutonium stockpile must be found, and there are currently plans for utilizing MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium and uranium, such as that involved in the latest accident – to power conventional reactors instead of the low-enriched uranium that they were designed for.

https://www.rt.com/news/391283-japan-nuclear-accident-plutonium/

High level of radiation found in lungs of nuclear facility worker

OARAI, Ibaraki — A worker at a research and development (R&D) center here has been found to have a high level of radioactive material — up to 22,000 becquerels — in his lungs following exposure to radiation, the center said on June 7.

The discovery came after five workers at the Oarai Research & Development Center, which belongs to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, were exposed to radioactive materials on June 6.

Radioactive materials are difficult to expunge from the human body, and it is thought that the level of internal exposure in this case will be 1.2 sieverts in one year, and 12 sieverts over 50 years.

The five workers have been taken to the National Institutes of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture, where they are undergoing examinations.

At a Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) meeting on June 7, a committee member said the workers’ situation is “not mild.”

According to organizations such as the NRA, one of the five workers was found to have up to 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 and 220 becquerels of americium-241 in his lungs. Two other workers were discovered to have 12 becquerels and 130 becquerels of americium-241 in their lungs, respectively. All five workers were administered medicine designed to reduce the radiation dose of the internal exposure.

The five workers were all wearing protective clothing and face masks at the time of the radiation exposure, the R&D center said. It is currently being investigated whether or not there were any problems at the time the incident happened.

Plutonium and americium are both harmful to human bodies as they emit alpha rays.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170607/p2a/00m/0na/018000c

Four workers exposed to radioactive materials at Ibaraki nuclear facility

Four workers suffered internal radiation exposure due to inhalation of a large amount of plutonium during an inspection at a nuclear research facility in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday, the operator of the facility said Wednesday.

In the wake of what appears to be an unprecedented internal radiation exposure accident, the state’s nuclear safety regulator and local labor authorities inspected the scene to see if there were any flaws in safety management.

The accident occurred at the fuel research building of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Oarai Research & Development Center when a bag covering a container for nuclear fuel materials, including powder samples of plutonium and uranium, tore during inspection on Tuesday.

Up to 22,000 becquerels of plutonium 239 were detected in the lungs of a male worker in his 50s. Up to 14,000 becquerels of radioactive materials were found in the three other workers, officials of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said the worker with the higher reading has been exposed to an extreme amount of radiation and the situation is considered grave.

While none of the workers have complained of health problems so far, an official with the facility’s operator said it “cannot rule out the possibility of future health effects.”

The agency assumes that the amount of radiation exposure of the male worker in his 50s translates to up to 12 sieverts over 50 years, well above the legal limit set for workers who deal with radiation.

For its part, the labor office said that it estimates the man with the highest exposure to radiation has exceeded the annual limit of radiation exposure, which is 50 millisieverts a year and 100 millisieverts in five years.

Plutonium is known to emit alpha rays over a long period, damaging surrounding organs and tissues. If it is deposited into the lungs, it could increase the risk of developing cancer

The five workers have been transported to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences and given medication to help discharge radioactive materials from their bodies.

I saw such a (high) figure for the first time,” said Makoto Akashi, a senior official at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, referring to the reading of 22,000 becquerels. The institute oversees the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

It is very clear from a scientific viewpoint that the internal exposure to radiation would increase the risk of cancer (for the workers),” Akashi said.

I have never heard of such a large amount as a reading for internal exposure to radiation,” Shunichi Tanaka, who heads the NRA, told a separate news conference.

The workers wore masks but could have inhaled radioactive material from the small gaps between the masks and their faces.

Kunikazu Noguchi, an expert on radiological protection and associate professor at Nihon University, said it is hard to conclude the impact of the 22,000 becquerels, as the actual amount of radioactive substances he inhaled is still unknown.

It is possible, however, that the worker could have been exposed to more radioactive materials than the legally allowable maximum limit,” Noguchi said. He said it is necessary to get to the bottom of the incident, especially whether workers followed guidelines, as it is hard to imagine a plastic bag containing nuclear substances could tear in such a facility as the Oarai center.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/07/national/five-workers-exposed-radioactive-materials-ibaraki-nuclear-facility/#.WTkK8zekLrc

Worker at Ibaraki facility has up to 22,000 becquerels of plutonium in lungs

TOKYO – Five workers have suffered internal radiation exposure, with one found with up to 22,000 becquerels of plutonium in his lungs, following an inspection accident at a nuclear research facility in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday, the operator of the facility said Wednesday.

In one of the worst accidents involving internal radiation exposure in Japan, up to 5,600 to 14,000 becquerels of plutonium 239 have been detected from the other three workers, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said.

The accident occurred at the fuel research building of the agency’s Oarai Research & Development Center when a bag covering a container for nuclear fuel materials, including powder samples of plutonium and uranium, tore during inspection.

A labor standards inspection office in Ibaraki conducted an inspection Tuesday and Wednesday at the building, while the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the nuclear safety watchdog, also dispatched an inspector to the scene to check whether there were any violations of safety regulations.

The agency estimates that the amount of radiation exposure of the man with the highest level translates to up to 12 sieverts over 50 years.

The labor office believes that the man in his 50s has exceeded the annual limit of radiation exposure of 0.1 sievert in five years set for those who handle radioactive materials.

Plutonium is known to emit alpha rays for a long period, damaging surrounding organs and tissues. If it is deposited into the lungs, it could increase the risk of developing cancer.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has said the operation by the workers was carried out as usual.

Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said of the incident at a press conference, “Perhaps (the workers) have become too accustomed to plutonium. I urge careful handling.”

“As (a level for) internal radiation exposure it’s an amount unheard of,” he said.

“We shouldn’t downplay the situation,” said NRA Commissioner Nobuhiko Ban, a specialist in radiological protection.

While none of the workers has complained of health problems so far, an official of the facility operator said it “cannot rule out the possibility of future health effects.”

The five workers have been transported to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences and given medication to facilitate the discharge of radioactive materials from their bodies.

Since radioactive materials were found on hands and faces of four of the five workers, they have been decontaminated, said an official of the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, an umbrella organization of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

The workers wore masks to cover their mouths and noses but could have inhaled the radioactive materials from the small gaps between the masks and their faces.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has previously come under criticism for lacking safety awareness, following revelations of a massive number of equipment inspection failures at its Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Fukui Prefecture.

The Japanese government decided to decommission Monju last year after it has barely operated over the past two decades despite its envisioned key role in the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/5-workers-suffer-radiation-exposure-one-with-up-to-22-000-becquerels-of-plutonium-in-his-lungs#.WTh8DhaVAOw.facebook

 

 

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Korea should review current radioactive waste management to go nuclear-free

The South Korean government should rethink its current approach to radioactive waste treatment technologies before attempting to go nuclear free, a renowned American nuclear expert said. In an interview with The Korea Herald, Frank von Hippel, a professor at Princeton University, warned that the state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute is working on technologies that have failed in all other advanced industrial countries. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170607000727

June 9, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Decommissioning of Monju Fast-Breeder Reactor Accepted by Fukui Governor

Capture du 2017-06-07 23-03-30.pngThe Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture

 

Fukui governor accepts decision to decommission Monju reactor

Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa has ditched his opposition to the central government’s plans to decommission the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in his prefecture.

Nishikawa had criticized Tokyo for deciding to decommission the reactor in Tsuruga without offering adequate assurances to local residents about such a massive project.

But during a meeting held at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo early June 7, he said, “Decommissioning of the Monju fast-breeder reactor is inevitable.”

At the meeting, attended by relevant Cabinet ministers, the government presented Nishikawa with a basic policy to remove spent nuclear fuel from the reactor in five and a half years and complete decommissioning in 30 years.

Hirokazu Matsuno, the science and technology minister, explained that the basic policy includes a plan to transfer spent nuclear fuel outside the prefecture as demanded by Fukui prefectural authorities.

The government will soon formally adopt the basic policy on decommissioning. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which operates the Monju reactor, will then draft its own plan for the project.

The government decided to decommission Monju at the end of last year and was initially expected to present the basic plan in April. However, Nishikawa had been airing concerns about the decommissioning.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706070036.html

Fukui governor approves scrapping of Monju reactor

The governor of Fukui in central Japan has consented to dismantling the prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in the prefecture.
The Japanese government decided in December to scrap the Monju reactor over a period of 30 years, following a series of safety management problems. It cited rising costs.
Governor Issei Nishikawa had opposed the plan, expressing concerns about the safety of the dismantling process.
Nishikawa met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and science minister Hirokazu Matsuno on Wednesday in Tokyo.
Matsuno explained the basic plan for scrapping the reactor. The science minister said spent nuclear fuel and sodium coolant would be moved out of the prefecture in future.
He also said the government will come up with a development plan for the host city of Tsuruga by the next fiscal year. He said this would make the city a hub of nuclear research and personnel training.
Governor Nishikawa said he confirmed the government’s basic plan for decommissioning and revitalizing the community. He said he had no choice but to accept the decommissioning. He emphasized that the process be carried out safely.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170607_15/

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

5 Workers Exposed to Radioactive Materials at Oarai Nuclear Research Facility in Ibaraki, Japan

Capture du 2017-06-07 19-09-32.png

22,000 becquerels measured in worker’s lungs

Sources at Japan’s science ministry have told NHK that up to 22,000 becquerels of radioactivity have been detected in the lungs of a worker accidentally exposed to radioactive materials at a nuclear research facility.
The worker is one of 5 who were exposed to the contaminants on Tuesday at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Oarai Research and Development Center in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.
The workers were inspecting fuel storage containers when a bag containing a powdered radioactive substance tore open, spilling its contents and contaminating the men’s gloves and protective clothing.
The Agency had said at the time that up to 24 becquerels had been detected in the nasal passages of 3 of the workers.
The science ministry said the maximum level of 22,000 becquerels was logged when the workers were rechecked by a different machine.
The country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority secretariat says the nuclear material detected was plutonium 239.
All 5 men have been taken to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba City, near Tokyo, for more detailed examinations.
The Executive Officer of the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Makoto Akashi, says he has never heard of 22,000 becquerels being detected in a human body in Japan.
Akashi says the figure, if accurate, is quite high.
He says the impact on the worker’s health will vary depending on the type of nuclide that entered his body.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170607_16/

Expert points at possible complications

A medical expert says he thinks that the worker will survive the exposure but that he may have future health problems.
Keiichi Nakagawa, Associate Professor of the University of Tokyo, said that this is the first case in Japan where 22,000 becquerels of radioactivity has been measured in a human body.
Nakagawa said he assumes that the agency’s officials based their calculation on the worst case scenario of the worker continuing to be affected by radiation over the next 50 years without receiving any treatment.
He said 12 sieverts of radiation would be fatal as a single external exposure. But he said that the health impacts of an internal exposure would emerge over 50 years.
Nakagawa noted that in some cases, leukemia patients are exposed to a total of 12 sieverts of radiation during therapy.
He said that he expected that the worker will recover with treatment to expel the contaminants.
But the expert said if radioactive materials stay in the worker’s body for a long time, there is a possibility that he may develop pneumonitis that causes breathing difficulties or other conditions.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170607_29/

Workers exposed to radiation at facility

An accident at a nuclear research facility near Tokyo has led to 5 workers being exposed to radioactive substances. One was found to have 22,000 becquerels of radioactive contaminants in his lungs.
The 5 workers were inspecting fuel storage containers on Tuesday at the Atomic Energy Agency’s Oarai Research and Development Center in Ibaraki Prefecture.
A bag inside a container ripped open, spilling its contents of powdered plutonium, uranium and other material. The substances contaminated the men’s protective clothing and gloves.
On Wednesday, the agency checked the workers with a device that measures radiation emitted from the body.
The highest reading they detected was 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 in the lungs of one worker.
The exact level of his exposure remains unknown.
An agency official explained that this figure amounts to 12 sieverts of internal exposure over 50 years. The official did not rule out future health problems for the man in his 50s, who was reportedly closest to the bag when it ripped.
The agency gave the workers medical treatment to expel the contaminants, and then transferred them to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba city for further checks.
The agency says the spill did not affect the environment outside the research facility.
The exact level of the 4 other workers’ exposure remains unknown.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority will examine the agency’s safety measures after it provides a report on the accident’s cause.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170607_28/

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Legacy of improperly managed radioactive sites across Russia.

Russia’s radioactive past continues to haunt its citizens https://news.vice.com/story/russias-radioactive-past-continues-to-haunt-its-citizens  By Sara Jerving Anton Kolomitsyn has an unusual hobby: He searches the Russian countryside looking for remnants of past wars. Earlier this year, he made an unexpected find.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | environment, radiation | Leave a comment

The revolving door- politician to nuclear lobbyist – UK former Energy Minister

Evening Standard 7th June 2017 Former Lib Dem energy minister Sir Ed Davey was today accused of “keeping quiet” about a paid job with a lobbying firm that represents the French energy giant he awarded an £18 billion deal.

The accusation came after Sir Ed sent voters in Kingston and Surbiton a summary of his career in an election leaflet. While the “CV” for voters in the key marginal said he had gone “back to consultancy” after losing his seat in 2015, it made no mention that he is working two days a month for MHP Communications, a company which specialises in influencing government policy on behalf of paying clients.

Among MHP’s clients is EDF, the French firm that struck a controversial deal to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset. The deal, overseen by Sir Ed as energy secretary in the Coalition, was attacked as poor value for the taxpayer by critics because it involved paying EDF nearly three times the current wholesale price of electricity in return for constructing and running the massive project. One expert called the contract the “worst deal I’ve ever seen”. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/ed-davey-kept-quiet-on-election-cv-about-energy-lobbying-job-a3558901.html

June 9, 2017 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | 1 Comment