The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

July 9 Energy News



¶ “Sell Your Fossil Fuel Stocks” • For people who claim to support states’ rights and the free market, the support for fossil fuels is the height of hypocrisy and delusion. When Republicans say they want to run the government “like a business,” what they apparently mean is, “run government like a Trump casino headed straight for bankruptcy court.” [HuffPost]

Nodding donkey (Greg Goebel, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ The collapse and melting of the Eurasian ice sheet at the end of the last ice age led to chaos all across the European continent, according to a new study published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. The collapse of the ice sheet led to serious changes to ecological systems and environments, and to the region’s human habitability. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new analysis has been published by researchers involved with Climate Central’s World…

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July 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

July 8 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ In recent years, some scientists have suggested that climate change will be less severe than the projections suggest. A study published in Science Advances joins a growing body of literature suggesting the models are correct. That may be worrisome for the planet, but it is good news for the scientists working to understand its future. [The Independent]

Tabular ice bergs off Antarctica (Reuters image)


¶ German authorities have arrested an Audi manager in connection with the VW diesel scandal. This is the first arrest in Germany related to Volkswagen’s emissions-test cheating scandal. The person may have been former Audi manager Giovanni Pamio, who the US had just charged with directing staff to design emissions-cheating software. [BBC]

¶ France has announced plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, following India’s push to switch to entirely electric vehicles. The country’s Environment Minister revealed…

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

If We Stopped Emitting Greenhouse Gases Right Now, Would We Stop Climate Change?

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR: This is not news, but it is an important reminder. Scientists agree that even if we stopped emitting CO2 today, temperature would continue to rise. That’s because it takes years for the oceans to reach equilibrium with the new level of energy trapped in the lower atmosphere. However, we aren’t stopping today; we won’t stop for decades. Everyone needs to plan for at least a 4 degree C increase in average temperature before the end of the century.

Navajo? Photo by Raif Broskvar (iStock)

“Earth’s climate is changing rapidly. We know this from billions of observations, documented in thousands of journal papers and texts and summarized every few years by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The primary cause of that change is the release of carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil and natural gas.

“One of the goals of the international Paris agreement is to limit…

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

Three former TEPCO officials on trial

Three former TEPCO officials and their disaster planning skills are on trial for deaths caused by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdowns.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Possible safety regulation violations at Ibaraki Pref. nuclear facility led to accident: NRA


In this photo provided by the JAEA, the stainless steel radioactive material container involved in the June 6, 2017 accident is seen soon after the plastic bags inside burst, exposing five workers to powdered plutonium and uranium oxides, at the Oarai Research & Development Center in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Staff likely failed to follow safety regulations at a nuclear research facility in Ibaraki Prefecture where five workers were exposed to radioactive materials in June, a Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) inquiry has revealed.

While just after the accident the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) stated that there was no way that such a serious incident could have been predicted, the NRA’s on-site investigation has revealed that, regardless of whether the accident could have been predicted, the facility staff were working without conducting proper safety procedures.

The accident occurred at the JAEA Oarai Research and Development Center in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, at roughly 11:15 a.m. on June 6, when a worker opened a stainless steel container to inspect the powdered nuclear fuel materials within. The plastic bag inside the container ruptured, exposing the worker and four other staff to plutonium and other radioactive materials. The container had been sealed in 1991, and not opened once since.

“There was no way to know the state of the vessel’s contents, so the work was done extremely carefully,” the JAEA had initially explained. It had also stated that the workers had been aware that the plastic bag around the materials had degraded over the 26 years it was in storage. The JAEA had also been aware since January of a similar case at another facility where the plastic bag in a container had swelled up.

However, the recent inquiry found that the workers at the Ibaraki facility decided that the item on the inspection safety checklist stating “risk of explosion, rupture or dispersal” was non-applicable before beginning their task, which their supervisor also approved. Furthermore, though there were five sealed workstations in the room, the workers chose to open the container at a simple, unsealed workstation instead. No work plan had been put together prior to the task.

“If the workers had used a sealed workstation, it is clear that this accident could have been prevented,” lamented a JAEA representative.

Also, after the accident, it took three hours to set up a temporary decontamination tent for the effected workers. The survey found that the building where the incident occurred was not equipped with the materials necessary to construct the decontamination tent, and no drills for the setup had ever been carried out. In addition, a shower meant to wash away radioactive materials was also found to be broken.

“When handling plutonium, we cannot afford to make inexperienced or groundless decisions,” declared NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka at a regular meeting of the authority on July 5. “(The JAEA’s) safety culture is lacking.”


July 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | 1 Comment