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Fukushima Radiation and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japan Plans to Expose Its People and 2020 Tokyo Olympians to Fukushima Radiation

2017_0717fukushima.jpgRadiation-contaminated debris and soil is stockpiled for disposal near the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016, in Okuma, Japan.

 

Former nuclear industry senior vice president Arnie Gundersen, who managed and coordinated projects at 70 US atomic power plants, is appalled at how the Japanese government is handling the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

“The inhumanity of the Japanese government toward the Fukushima disaster refugees is appalling,” Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 45 years of nuclear power engineering experience and the author of a bestselling book in Japan about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, told Truthout.

He explains that both the Japanese government and the atomic power industry are trying to force almost all of the people who evacuated their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to return “home” before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This March Japan’s federal government announced the subsidies that have, up until now, been provided to Fukushima evacuees who were mandated to leave their homes are being withdrawn, which will force many of them to return to their contaminated prefecture out of financial necessity.

And it’s not just the Japanese government. The International Olympic Commission is working overtime to normalize the situation as well, even though conditions at Fukushima are anything but normal. The commission even has plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to have baseball and softball games played at Fukushima.

Gundersen believes these developments are happening so that the pro-nuclear Japanese government can claim the Fukushima disaster is “over.” However, he noted, “The disaster is not ‘over’ and ‘home’ no longer is habitable.”

His analysis of what is happening is simple.

“Big banks and large electric utilities and energy companies are putting profit before public health,” Gundersen added. “Luckily, my two young grandsons live in the US; if their parents lived instead in Fukushima Prefecture [a prefecture is similar to a state in the US], I would tell them to leave and never go back.”

Reports of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which began when a tsunami generated by Japan’s deadly earthquake in 2011 struck the nuclear plant, have been ongoing.

Seven more people who used to live in Fukushima, Japan were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the government announced in June. This brings the number of cases of thyroid cancer of those living in the prefecture at the time the disaster began to at least 152.

While the Japanese government continues to deny any correlation between these cases and the Fukushima disaster, thyroid cancer has long since been known to be caused by radioactive iodine released during nuclear accidents like the one at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. A World Health Organization report released after the disaster started listed cancer as a possible result of the meltdown, and a 2015 study in the journal Epidemiology suggested that children exposed to Fukushima radiation were likely to develop thyroid cancer more frequently.

The 2011 disaster left 310 square miles around the plant uninhabitable, and the area’s 160,000 residents were evacuated. This April, officials began welcoming some of them back to their homes, but more than half of the evacuees in a nearby town have already said they would not return to their homes even if evacuation orders were lifted, according to a 2016 government survey.

Officials from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the company responsible for cleaning up the disaster, announced this February they were having difficulty locating nuclear fuel debris inside one of the reactors. Radiation inside the plant continues to skyrocket to the point of causing even robots to malfunction.

Cancer cases continue to crop up among children living in towns near Fukushima.

And it’s not as if the danger is decreasing. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Earlier this year, radiation levels at the Fukushima plant were at their highest levels since the disaster began.

TEPCO said atmospheric readings of 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded in one of the reactors. The previous highest reading was 73 sieverts an hour back in 2012. A single dose of just one Sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea. Five sieverts would kill half of those exposed within one month, and a dose of 10 sieverts would be fatal to those exposed within weeks.

Dr. Tadahiro Katsuta, an associate professor at Meiji University, Japan, is an official member of the Nuclear Reactor Safety Examination Committee and the Nuclear Fuel Safety Examination Committee of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Truthout asked him what he was most concerned about regarding the Japanese government’s handling of the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima.

“What I regard as the most dangerous, personally, is the fact that the Japanese government has chosen the national prestige and protection of electric power companies over the lives of its own citizens,” Katsuta, who wrote the Fukushima update for the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, said.

Gundersen thinks it simply makes no sense to hold the Olympics in Japan.

“Holding the 2020 Olympics in Japan is an effort by the current Japanese government to make these ongoing atomic reactor meltdowns disappear from the public eye,” Gundersen said. “I discovered highly radioactive dust on Tokyo street corners in 2016.”

According to Gundersen and other nuclear experts Truthout spoke with, the crisis is even worse.

Fukushima and Surrounding Prefectures Radioactively “Contaminated”

“The Japanese government never dedicated enough resources to trying to contain the radiation released by the meltdowns,” Gundersen said.

Gundersen said that during his first trip to Japan in 2012, he stated publicly that the cleanup of Fukushima would cost more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, and TEPCO scoffed at his estimate. But now in 2017, TEPCO has reached and announced the same conclusion, but as a result of its inaction in 2011 and 2012, the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful mountain ranges in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures are contaminated. 

One of the tactics that Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s administration chose to deploy at Fukushima to contain radiation was an underground “ice wall.”

“As the ‘ice wall’ was being designed, I spoke out that it was doomed to fail, and was [an] incredibly expensive diversion,” Gundersen said. “There are techniques that could stop water from entering the basements of the destroyed reactors so that the radioactivity would not migrate through the groundwater to the ocean, but the Japanese government continues to resist pursuing them.”

Gundersen argues that Japan could and should build a sarcophagus over all three destroyed reactors and wait 100 years to dismantle them. This way, the radioactive exposure will be minimized for Japanese workers, and ongoing radioactive releases to the environment would be minimized as well.

Gundersen also points out that it is equally important that radioactive water continues to run out of the mountain streams into the Pacific, so a thorough cleanup of the mountain ranges should begin right now, but that is a mammoth undertaking that may never succeed.

In addition to his other roles, Arnie Gundersen serves as the chief engineer for Fairewinds Energy Education, a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded by his wife Maggie. Since founding the organization, Maggie Gundersen has provided paralegal and expert witness services for Fairewinds. Like her husband, she’s had an inside view of the nuclear industry: She was an engineering assistant in reload core design for the nuclear vendor Combustion Engineering, and she was in charge of PR for a proposed nuclear reactor site in upstate New York.

When Truthout asked her how she felt about the Abe government’s response to Fukushima, she said, “Human health is not a commodity that should be traded for corporate profits or the goals of politicians and those in power as is happening in Japan. The Japanese government is refusing to release accurate health data and is threatening to take away hospital privileges from doctors who diagnose radiation symptoms.”

Maggie Gundersen added that her husband also met with a doctor who lost his clinic because he was diagnosing people with radiation sickness, instead of complying with the government’s story that their illnesses were due to the psychological stress of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns.

M.V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and is also a contributing author to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report for 2016. Like the Gundersens, he is critical of the Abe administration’s mishandling of Fukushima.

“I am not sure we can expect much better from the Abe administration that has shown so little regard for people’s welfare in general and has supported the nuclear industry in the face of clear and widespread opposition,” Ramana told Truthout. “As with restarting nuclear power plants, one reason for this decision seems to be to reduce the liability of the nuclear industry, TEPCO in this case. It is also a way for the Abe administration to shore up Japan’s image, as a desirable destination for the Olympics and more generally.”

Katsuta agreed.

“Prime Minister Abe has neither the knowledge about the issue of Fukushima accident nor the interest at all,” Katsuta said. “The Abe administration has yet to clearly apologize for its responsibility for promoting the nuclear energy policy.”

Instead, according to Katsuta, the Abe administration has lifted evacuation orders in an effort to “erase the memories of the accident.”

Fukushima Evacuees “Forced” Back Home

In the immediate wake of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, 160,000 people fled areas around the plant. The Abe government has been providing housing subsidies to those who were evacuated, but its recent announcement means those subsidies will no longer be provided. Many “voluntary evacuees” will be forced to consider returning despite lingering concerns over radiation.

“This is very unfortunate,” Ramana said of the withdrawal of the subsidies. “The people who were evacuated from Fukushima have already been through a lot and for some of them to be told that the government, and presumably TEPCO, does not have any more liability for their plight seems quite callous.”

He explains that, in enacting this callous move, the Japanese government is claiming that radiation exposure is now within “safe levels” for people to return home. This claim ignores the fact that levels now are even higher than before the accident, and also disregards the widespread uncertainties plaguing the measurement of radiation in the affected areas.

Katsuta expressed similar concerns.

“The lifted evacuation area has not been restored completely, as the radiation dose is still high, and decontamination of the forest is excluded,” he said. “Besides, the decontamination waste is often stored in the neighborhood, and there were many families who did not return, and then the local community collapsed.”

Katsuta added that the subsidies only amount to $1,000 per refugee, so paying them for the next 10 years is “not expensive” in order to safeguard human lives.

Given her work in PR for the nuclear industry, Maggie Gundersen had an interesting position on the Abe government’s tactics.

When she was working for the atomic power industry, she was “carefully taught” certain misinformation about atomic power reactors by industry scientists and engineers. She said she would never have done that work if she had known the “hidden truth.”  She and Arnie were both taught that atomic power was the “peaceful use of the atom” — she does not support war and believes that the use of atomic weapons or depleted uranium are horrific crimes — and she explains that she never would have worked for or promoted atomic power knowing what she knows now.

“Arnie and I immediately noticed that TEPCO and the Japanese government were using the same playbook that was used at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island (and for that matter, Deepwater Horizon),” Maggie Gundersen explained. “Governments immediately minimize the amount of radiation being released, or in the case of Deepwater Horizon, the amount of oil.”

She added that in each of these cases, the mainstream press dutifully reported shortly after the crisis that there was nothing to fear, even though there was no evidence to support these assertions. The governments’ objectives were to minimize fear and chaos, and most media simply echoed officials’ claims. The responses to the Fukushima disaster are following the same pattern.

“Is the Abe regime glossing over the seriousness of the Fukushima meltdowns and ongoing radioactivity? Absolutely,” she said. “What is happening in Japan to the known and unknown victims is a human rights violation and an environmental justice debacle.”

2020 Tokyo Olympics to Be Held Amidst “Hot Particles”

Katsuta said that the Fukushima evacuees are “extremely worried” that their plight will be overshadowed by the Olympics. He believes the Japanese government is using the Olympics to demonstrate to the world that Japan is now a “safe” country and that the Fukushima disaster “has been solved.”

“In Japan, the people are really forgetting the Fukushima accident as … the news of the Olympics increases,” he said.

Arnie Gundersen doesn’t think it makes sense to have some of the Olympic venues (soccer, baseball and possibly surfing) in Fukushima Prefecture itself.

“Radioactively ‘hot particles’ are everywhere in Fukushima Prefecture and in some of the adjacent prefectures as well,” he said. “These ‘hot particles’ present a long-term health risk to the citizens who live there and the athletes who will visit.”

Ramana, too, believes that the events held closer to Fukushima “may be adding to the radiation dose of the competitors and the spectators.” 

fukushima 2020.jpg

 

Fukushima Disaster “Will Continue for More Than 100 Years”

Maggie Gundersen pointed out that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission consistently claims it has learned lessons from Fukushima, but she doesn’t think the commission — or the Japanese government, or corporations — learned any lessons at all.

“Energy production is all about money,” she said. “After the meltdowns, many banks in Japan invested in keeping the atomic power reactors on hold until the disaster could sort itself out. Those banks and the government supporting its access to the use of the atom have a vested interest in starting the old reactors up.”

Katsuta has a dire outlook for the future of Fukushima, and said there are already numerous evacuees who have given up hope of returning because they are aware of the crisis being unsolvable by the current means of TEPCO and the Abe administration.

“Even if decontamination and decommissioning work progresses, the problem will not be solved,” he said. “We have not yet decided how to dispose of decontamination waste and decommissioning waste.”

Ramana believes Fukushima should be a reminder of the inherent hazards associated with nuclear power, and how those hazards become worse when entities that control these technologies put profits over human wellbeing.

Arnie Gundersen had even stronger words.

“The disaster at Fukushima Daiichi will continue for more than 100 years,” he explained. “Other atomic power reactor disasters are bound to occur. Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi should have taught everyone around the world that nuclear power is a technology that can destroy the fabric of a society overnight.”

According to him, the remains of the reactor containments at Units 1, 2 and 3 are highly susceptible to damage from another severe earthquake, and any earthquake of 7.0 or higher at the Fukushima site could provoke further severe radiation releases. 

Shortly after the meltdowns, Maggie and Arnie Gundersen both spoke about Japan being at a “tipping point”: It could respond to the disaster by leading the world in renewable energy while choosing to protect people and the pristine rural environment through sustainable energy economies.

But obviously it didn’t work out that way.

“The world saw Japan as technologically savvy, but instead of moving ahead and creating a new worldwide economy, it continues with an old tired 20th century paradigm of energy production,” Maggie Gundersen said. “Look at the huge success and progress of solar and wind in other countries like Germany, Nicaragua and Denmark. Why not go energy independent, creating a strong economy, producing many more jobs and protecting the environment?”

Arnie Gundersen has plans to return to Japan later this year on a crowdsourced trip with scientific colleagues in order to teach Japanese citizen scientists how to take additional radioactive samples. Fairewinds Energy Education is currently fundraising to make this possible.

In the meantime, dramatic examples of the ongoing dangers of nuclear power in Japan abound.

In June, radioactive materials were found in the urine of five workers exposed to radiation in an accident at a nuclear research facility in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture. In that incident, one of the workers had a large amount of plutonium in his lungs.

Recent polls in Japan show that the Japanese public has lost faith in nuclear safety regulation, and a majority of them favor phasing out nuclear power altogether.

Meanwhile in the US, President Donald Trump has put nuclear energy first on the country’s energy agenda and has announced a comprehensive study of the US nuclear energy industry. Trump’s energy secretary Rick Perry said, “We want to make nuclear cool again.

https://www.ecowatch.com/tokyo-olympics-fukushima-2460798164.html

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

Tepco backpedals after disaster reconstruction chief knocks plan to dump tritiated water into sea

 Hey, a change in the ‘official’ strategy: why admit it & damage your image when you can keep letting it happen & say you’ve decided not to do it ?

n-tritium-a-20170716-870x580.jpgThe Fukushima No. 1 plant and hundreds of tanks containing tritiated water are viewed from the air in February

 

Tokyo Electric backed off its tritium-dumping decision Friday after disaster reconstruction minister Masayoshi Yoshino said it would cause problems for struggling fishermen trying to recover in Fukushima Prefecture.

The remarks made Friday by the Fukushima native came shortly after the chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. was quoted as saying that the decision to discharge tritium-tainted water from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant into the sea had “already been made.”

After Tepco Chairman Takashi Kawamura’s remarks were widely reported, the utility scrambled to make a clarification the same day.

According to Tepco’s clarification, Kawamura meant to say that there was “no problem” with the dumping plan, based on government guidelines and “scientific and technological standards.” The statement also said that no final decision had been made.

A government panel is still debating how to deal with the massive amount of tainted water stored in tanks at the atomic plant, where three reactor cores melted after a huge earthquake in March 2011 spawned tsunami that devastated the region and knocked out all power at the plant.

Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts. It remains in filtered water as it is difficult to extract on an industrial basis. Ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations.

At a news conference, Yoshino said there would “certainly be damage due to unfounded rumors” if the tainted water were dumped into the sea. He urged those pushing for the release “not to create fresh concerns for fishermen and those running fishing operations in Fukushima Prefecture.” He also asked them to take care not to drive fishermen “further toward the edge.”

Yoshino, who is not directly involved in the decision-making process for handling the water, was alluding to local concerns about how people’s livelihoods will be affected if people think marine products from Fukushima are contaminated with radiation. He added that while he is aware that many in the scientific community say the diluted water can be safely released, he remains opposed.

As I am also a native of Fukushima Prefecture, I fully understand the sentiment of the people,” the minister said.

Water injected to perpetually cool the damaged reactors becomes tainted in the process. A high-tech filtering apparatus set up at the plant can remove 62 types of radioactive material but not tritium. As a result, tritiated water is building up continuously at the plant. As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks on the premises.

On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, which is situated 10 meters above sea level, and crippled its power supply, causing a station-wide blackout. The failure of the cooling systems in reactors 1, 2 and 3 then led to a triple core meltdown that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/15/national/tepco-backpedals-disaster-reconstruction-chief-knocks-plan-dump-tritiated-water-sea/#.WWoQ3IqQzdQ

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

Assessing Fukushima-derived radiocesium in migratory Pacific predators

??? Good news if true…

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The 2011 release of Fukushima-derived radionuclides into the Pacific Ocean made migratory sharks, teleosts, and marine mammals a source of speculation and anxiety regarding radiocesium (134+137Cs) contamination, despite a lack of actual radiocesium measurements for these taxa.

We measured radiocesium in a diverse suite of large predators from the North Pacific Ocean and report no detectable (i.e., ≥ 0.1 Bq kg-1 dry wt) of Fukushima-derived 134Cs in all samples, except in one olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) with trace levels (0.1 Bq kg-1).

Levels of 137Cs varied within and across taxa, but were generally consistent with pre-Fukushima levels and were lower than naturally-occurring 40K by one to two orders of magnitude.

Predator size had a weaker effect on 137Cs and 40K levels than tissue lipid content.

Predator stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) were used to infer recent migration patterns, and showed that predators in the central, eastern, and western Pacific should not be assumed to accumulate detectable levels of radiocesium a priori.

Non-detection of 134Cs and low levels of 137Cs in diverse marine megafauna far from Fukushima confirms negligible increases in radiocesium, with levels comparable to those prior to the release from Fukushima.

Reported levels can inform recently developed models of cesium transport and bioaccumulation in marine species.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00680

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tepco Says It Has Not Made Final Decision On Discharging Contaminated Water Into Sea

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17 Jul (NucNet): Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said in a statement on 14 July 2017 that it had not made a final decision on whether or not to release water containing tritium into the sea at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station.

Tepco, which owns and operates the facility, was reacting to media reports that its chairman, Takashi Kawamura, had said the decision had already been made. But Tepco said in its statement posted on its website, that while it agreed with Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) that there should be no impact from releasing tritiated water into the ocean, Tepco had not finalised its policy on the matter.

We need to give our full attention to the satisfaction of both peace of mind of local residents and the reconstruction of Fukushima prefecture, as well as meeting regulation and safety standards for a final decision,” the statement said. “We will carefully examine our policy on the matter with the government and local stakeholders from such a perspective.”

Tepco said tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.

As of 6 July 2017, about 770,000 tonnes of water containing tritium were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima-Daiichi station, which is running out of storage space.

Contaminated cooling water at the station is being treated by a complex water-processing system that can remove 62 different types of radioactive materials except tritium, which is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

According to the Japan Times, NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka has been urging Tepco to release the water. But fishermen who make their livelihoods near the station are opposed to the releases, the newspaper said.

http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2017/07/17/tepco-says-it-has-not-made-final-decision-on-discharging-contaminated-water-into-sea

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

America neglects Guam atomic test victims – hopes they all die?

July 17 2017 Terry R Scheidt   Seems like Terry is the only responder, is there anyone else, It is July 2017, been writing to Trump to use his EO but he never responds either. Boy is this America?

January 12, 2014 Aloha, It is now 01/2014 (24 years) since RECA was enacted. We are still waiting for justice. Our country denied, deceived, has no integrity or values by denying victims of radiation they caused. The justice system denied and dismissed most litigation cases claiming the Congress had to enact better laws to address radiation.

They claimed radiation does not cause cancer, of course we know better in the PACIFIC, Micronesia, Guam, Johnston
Island and many other location. The unfortunate thing is 70 years have passed and many have already died which is our countries hope.

May 13, 2017  It is now May 2017, yes Terry is still alive and still seeking equity, HA. Our delegates never heard such a word, denial is more like it. I will advocate for loyalty till I die. Hard to believe our nation does things I thought only others did.

I was a range rat, many friends on Midway, Eniwetok, Wake, French Frigate Shoals, Christmas, Johnston, Jarvis, Canton damn so many.

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Way back in 2010, we made a small post about the the plight of residents of Guam, who were suffering from illnesses resulting from radiation exposure. Research presented to the National Academy of Science and National Research Council described the effects on this community, of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.  The Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors, a nonprofit organization, was lobbying U.S. Congress to include Guam in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program, so that they could receive help and compensation for their radiation-induced illnesses.

Well, what happened about this?

Thanks to one reader of this website, we have been kept up to date over the years:

TERRY R SCHEIDT by Terry R Scheidt  January 6, 2011 I WAS A 1962 JOHNSTON ISLAND PARTICIPANT. I WAS AT GROUND ZERO AND EXPOSED TO HIGH LEVELS OF RADIATION FOR WHICH I GOT CANCER. I HAVE NOT BEEN COMPENSATED UNDER THE DOE/EEOICPA ACT BECAUSE I DID NOT WORK FOR DOE. I WAS DENIED. I RECEIVED UNEQUAL COMPENSATION FROM DOJ (RECA) BUT AT A MUCH LESSER AMOUNT THAN DOE (EEOICPA). NO MEDICAL AND LESS THAN HALF THAT OF DOE. PLEASE SUPPORT HR 5119/S3224.

April 23, 2011 Do our representatives really care? Why have both HR5119/S3224 both died in committee. Our government does not live up to responsibility. They cause us harm than ignore us as if we do not exist. Aloha.

April 26, 2011 I am a 1962 ground zero victim of the Johnston Island PPG. Senators Pangelinan, Udalls and Rep Lujan have done nothing. All legislation died in committee. They turned their backs on us again. Shame.

June 25, 2012 Continue reading

July 17, 2017 Posted by | health, Legal, OCEANIA, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | 2 Comments

Fukushima Insoluble Radioactive Particles (part 3)

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We are presenting here a transcription of an NHK TV documentary (note1) on insoluble radioactive particles found in Fukushima and in the Tokyo metropolitan region. This is the 3rd part of the 3 parts.
Her is the 1st part : https://fukushima311voices.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/insoluble-radioactive-particles-part-1/
Here is the 2nd part : https://fukushima311voices.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/insoluble-radioactive-particles-part-2/
As you can see below, small insoluble radioactive particles are dispersed in the Tokyo metropolitan area. We believe that this represents serious health problems for the population in terms of internal irradiation, since the insoluble radioactive particles remain in the body for a long time. For anybody who would stay in this metropolitan area, further radioprotection against internal irradiation would be required.

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Takeda: I will ask Yuichi Moriguchi, who is carrying out investigations on radio-contamination caused by the accident, including the insoluble radioactive particles, how many of such insoluble radioactive particles exist and in what range of area?

Moriguchi: There are many different sizes of particles, but relatively large particles have been found only near the nuclear power plant. On the other hand, we know that the smaller particles were transported far by the wind and reached the Kanto region.

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Kamakura: Please see here for the details.
Mr. Moriguchi and his colleagues have divided the insoluble radioactive particles into two major types.  They are called type A and type B.
Those of type A are comparatively small with a size of 10 micrometers or less. A lot of them are spherical. What is called a cesium ball is of this type. Since they are small in size, these particles are likely to reach the lungs by breathing.
On the other hand, those of the type B are comparatively large, by more than several tens of micrometers, and most of them are of distorted shape. Because the particle is large, it is not possible to enter the lungs, but it may adhere to the skin and mucous membranes.

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Kamakura: Please see here for the details.
Mr. Moriguchi and his colleagues have divided the insoluble radioactive particles into two major types.  They are called type A and type B.
Those of type A are comparatively small with a size of 10 micrometers or less. A lot of them are spherical. What is called a cesium ball is of this type. Since they are small in size, these particles are likely to reach the lungs by breathing.
On the other hand, those of the type B are comparatively large, by more than several tens of micrometers, and most of them are of distorted shape. Because the particle is large, it is not possible to enter the lungs, but it may adhere to the skin and mucous membranes.

The areas where each type are scattered are gradually coming to be known.
A relatively large, heavy type B particle has been found within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. On the other hand, small light type A particles are found in the Kanto region.

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According to the simulation in the paper published by the meteorological laboratory, the type A particles were diffused like this by the wind on March 14-15 immediately after the accident.

Takeda: Smaller type A particles flew to the Kanto region immediately after the accident. Could you explain more?

Moriguchi: This is exactly what we are researching right now. The other day I presented a paper at an Academic society. We knew that radioactive materials had reached the Kanto area on March 15, but we found that there were insoluble radioactive particles among them. We are trying to clarify right now as to why they arrived there. We are coming to know gradually that the radioactive materials are likely to have been discharged at a certain time.

Takeda: Just for confirmation: these are the ones that flew in the period between March 14 and 15?

Moriguchi: Yes, that’s right.

Takeda: Do you have any estimation of the amount that has been transported in the wind?

Moriguchi: As a whole, I still don’t know how much has been scattered, but as for what flew to the Kanto area on March 15, we have the result of another research group, according to which 80% to 90% of the radioactive materials are composed of this insoluble type A particle. I think that it’s necessary to evaluate the influence carefully because it has reached a considerably large area from Fukushima Prefecture to the Kanto region.

Takeda: Mr. Kai, what is your opinion of the health effect of the A type?

Kai: In the case of radiation, there are external and internal radiation effects. According to the report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the influence of external radiation is larger. Therefore, although it is necessary to review the effects of internal radiation due to the discovery of such insoluble particles, the over-all effects including external radiation do not change much, even when the effects of internal radiation have changed. However, the evaluation of internal radiation needs to be reviewed properly in any case.

Takeda: The UNSCEAR has evaluated that there is no health impact due to the amount of radiation in the metropolitan area. Is there a possibility that this evaluation is reversed?

Kai: In that sense, the influence of the internal radiation exposure will change, but I do not think that their evaluation will be revised, because it is assumed that the influence of external exposure is larger.

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Kamakura: On the other hand, there are people who had been evacuated and recently returned to the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.
What are the reactions of the local governments about this insoluble radioactive particle?
For example, the environmental policy section of Okuma town says: “No special measures have been taken, but when people enter a difficult-to-return area, we tell them to wear a protective suit and a mask, and to be careful not to blow up the dust when cleaning the room.”
As you can see, all municipalities are basically dealing with the protective measures that have been carried out so far such as avoiding adhesion to the body and inhaling radioactive materials.

Takeda: Mr. Moriguchi, the evacuation orders have been lifted near the nuclear power plant, and some people have started to return. What are the points to be careful about?

Moriguchi: The decontamination work is done, and the evacuation orders are lifted because the radiation dose has dropped, but the fact is that the decontamination work was carried out only outdoors. Moreover, even in places where the radiation dose is comparatively low, there are areas where such radioactive particles entered residential rooms immediately after the accident. Therefore, I think it is necessary to take the radioprotection seriously.

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Takeda: There is another problem that researchers are concerned about in the issue of  insoluble radioactive particles. It is a problem called “re-scattering”, that is to say, particles are re-raised and scatted from the areas where decontamination has not been done, including the site of the nuclear power plant. In fact, a case of re-scattering was already observed in the past.
On August 19, 2013, at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, following the decommissioning plan, the debris removal work was on the way at the reactor #3. But… the radiation dose increased on the premises. The workers’ body pollution occurred.

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At this time, Kyoto University’s research group observed an increase in atmospheric radioactive materials at a point about 26 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. In addition, insoluble radioactive particles were collected at observation facilities between the nuclear power plant and the Kyoto University observation point.

15

 

16

 

17

 

The research group at Kyoto University simulated the scattering of radioactive particles based on the weather data of the day.  As a result, it was learned that the particles that had been lifted in the debris removal work had scattered over a wide range and reached the observation point.

Takeda: What is your point of view about the health effect of this re-scattering?

Kai: I think that the dose is relatively small, but it is important to take the measurements properly and keep watching. I think that it is especially important to pay attention to measurement results of the round the clock dust monitors installed in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.

Takeda: How about you, Mr. Moriguchi? What do you think of the measures to take against the problem of re-scattering?

Moriguchi: About the re-scattering, if a big problem happens, most probably it will be in connection with the decommission work. So this is the first thing to be careful about.

Takeda: Another thing: what are the effects of insoluble radioactive particles on the agricultural crops?

Moriguchi: They are actually monitored rigorously. The monitoring in the atmosphere is done as well as the rigorous control of farm products. I think that it is important to diffuse the information thoroughly.

Takeda: You mean that we can trust the products which are put in the market?

Moriguchi: I think that the monitoring is done well.

Takeda: Mr. Moriguchi and Mr. Kai are continuing the research to find out the range of  the scattered particles, and also to evaluate the irradiation dose. They are hoping to have the results by the end of the fiscal year (the end of March).
Researchers are currently trying to clarify the risks of insoluble radioactive particles. And we are going to continue our investigations.
This may cause anguish to some people, but we think that it’s important to receive the information calmly for now.

___

Note 1: Close-up Gendai, Genpatsu jiko kara 6 nen, Michi no hoshasei ryushi ni semaru (Approaching radioactive particles six years from nuclear accident) (diffusion: 2017 June 6)

https://fukushima311voices.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/insoluble-radioactive-particles-part-3/

 

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

Minister opposes releasing treated water from Fukushima plant into sea

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TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister said Friday he is opposed to treated water from the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant being released into the sea, citing the possible repercussions for local fishermen.

Masayoshi Yoshino’s remarks came shortly after a top official from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said he is ready to see the tritium-containing water dumped into the sea.

A government panel is still debating how to deal with the water stored in tanks at the plant where three nuclear reactors melted down in the days after a huge earthquake and then tsunami struck the region in 2011.

Tritium is a radioactive substance considered relatively harmless to humans. It remains in the filtered water as it is difficult to separate even after passing through a treatment process. At other nuclear power plants, tritium-containing water is routinely released into the sea after it is diluted.

Yoshino expressed at a news conference his concerns over the potential ramifications of releasing the treated water into the sea, saying there would “certainly be (perception) damage due to unfounded rumors.”

The minister urged those pushing for the release of the water “not to create fresh concerns for fishermen and those running fishing operations in Fukushima Prefecture.” He also asked them “not to drive (fishermen) further towards the edge.”

He was alluding to concerns among local fishermen about the effects on their livelihood if the public perceives fish and other marine products caught off Fukushima to be contaminated.

Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tepco, said in a recent interview that the decision to discharge the treated water “has already been made.”

After Kawamura’s remarks were widely reported, the utility was forced to make a clarification through a statement on Friday. Tepco said its chairman meant to say there is “no problem (with releasing water containing tritium) according to state guidelines based on scientific and technological standpoints,” and that the decision to release is not yet final.

While the plant operator and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry want to discharge the water, the local fishermen, backed by the minister, are opposed to it.

At the Fukushima plant, water becomes toxic when it is used to cool the damaged reactors. It is treated through a process said to be capable of removing 62 different types of radioactive material, except tritium.

Yoshino said Friday that while he is aware of some scientists’ opinion that the water should be released after it is diluted to permissible levels, he is not in favor of the idea.

“As I am also a native of Fukushima Prefecture, I fully understand the sentiment of the people,” Yoshino said. However, the minister has no authority to decide how the treated water will be disposed.

An ever-increasing amount of water containing tritium is collecting in tanks at the Fukushima plant. As of July 6, approximately 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks.

On March 11, 2011, water inundated the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, and flooded power supply facilities. Reactor cooling systems were crippled and the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170715/p2g/00m/0dm/064000c

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

The new Nuclear Prohibition Treaty has arrived

While the new NPT is far from perfect and weak in some aspects, it is likely to enter into force in due course. Although some sceptics have dismissed its implementation as difficult if not impossible, the new NPT can do no worse than the old one.

Irrespective of its future prospects, the passing of the new NPT has already challenged the very basis of nuclear deterrence and the nuclear order based on the old NPT.

The birth of the new Nuclear Prohibition Treaty http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/sTcLTFjktzVq66wyOHj2NP/The-birth-of-the-new-Nuclear-Prohibition-Treaty.html

The myths perpetrated by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are being challenged by the Nuclear Prohibition TreatyW.P.S. Sidhu, 16 July 17, The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is based on three myths: first, that nuclear weapons are an entitlement bestowed upon only a handful of countries that had tested a nuclear weapon before the treaty entered into force in 1970. Second, that the security of most of the world’s nations—indeed world order itself—is based on the possession of or protection by nuclear weapons. Third, that nuclear weapons cannot be banned and nuclear disarmament was only possible as part of a process of “general and complete disarmament”, implying that nuclear weapons might be the last to be disarmed.

These myths have been effectively challenged by the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons or the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty (NPT), as it is being popularly called, which was voted into existence at the UN on 7 July. Of the 125-odd non-nuclear weapon states that participated in the negotiations, 122 voted in favour of the new NPT and only one state, the Netherlands—the sole North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) representative which lives under a nuclear umbrella—voted against. Indeed, had the Netherlands not called for a vote, the treaty would have been approved by consensus. This move was a comic case of Dutch courage—a valiant but vacuous gesture.

The new NPT challenges the old NPT’s myth of entitlement by holding states that after 7 July “owned, possessed or controlled nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” responsible for “verifying the irreversible elimination of its nuclear-weapon programme” if they become parties to the treaty. In doing so, nuclear weapons have been devalued and are reduced to a liability rather than being treated as an asset. Continue reading

July 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The world is already in a climate emergency – Paul Beckwith

Abrupt Climate Mayhem Now, in Spite of Main-Stream-Climatologist Posturing https://paulbeckwith.net/  July 14, 2017  Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of people, especially main-stream-talking-head-scientists, downplaying the huge unprecedented threats that are accumulating daily and will soon take down our civilizations. Our world is one that is full of specialists, with no ability to join-the-dots and recognize that humanities existence, and that of our entire ecosystems of plants and animals is degrading rapidly. Even exponentially.

From my chair, I categorically state that anybody who downplays the significance and importance of our planets peril is part of the problem, and needs to get with the program or step aside so that the rest of us can do what is needed. The public needs the truth, no matter how bad it is to have any hope of changing course. And the truth is truly awful, at present.

Main-Stream-Scientists Screw Up Communicating Abrupt Climate Change I continue on my last video’s chat about the widely viewed New York Magazine article by David Wallace-Well’s on The Uninhabitable Earth, Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

Everyone agrees that this article hit a nerve with Main-Stream-(Media: MSM; Scientists: MSS) and the public.

We all hear over and over, from Main-Stream-Scientists), that climate change is occurring “faster than expected“. Think about what this means. It means that what is expected is completely wrong.  What will, and is happening is way worse that what MSS are saying, and what MSM is reporting. The public needs the truth, and not some sugarcoated MSM/MSS bullshit.

Main-Stream-Media Awakens to Perils of Abrupt Climate Change?  A lot can happen in a day. Things can turn on a dime. Has this just happened? David Wallace-Wells wrote a great article in nymag.com recently on “The Uninhabitable Earth”. Media around the world carried parts of it, and a number of scientists chimed in. Many people said the article is too apocalyptic. I say that the article is spot on. Civilization, more correctly humanity is going down big time, on our current path. Abrupt climate change all but guarantees that. Unless we collectively change course by:

1) Declare a global climate emergency.

2) Deploy technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere &/or oceans.

3) Deploy technologies to cool the Arctic.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Prof James Hansen warns on sea level rise: Earth could become ‘practically ungovernable’

Earth could become ‘practically ungovernable’ if sea levels keep rising, says former Nasa climate chief http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/earth-sea-levels-rising-nasa-climatechange-chief-jim-hansen-global-warming-melting-ice-antarctica-a7841026.htmlIan Johnston Environment Correspondent, 15 July 17  @montaukian The Earth could become “practically ungovernable” because of sea level rise, Nasa’s former head of climate research, Professor James Hansen, has warned.Professor Hansen, who was among the first scientists to alert politicians and the public to the risks posed by climate change, told New York Magazine that he doubted the atmosphere would warm by four or five degrees Celsius by the end of this century – the upper end of current projections, which would likely end human civilisation as we know it.However he said the biggest problem would be sea level rise. Professor Hanson was an author of a scientific paper published last year which warned that continued high fossil fuel emissions could increase sea levels by “several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years”.

This is significantly higher than the latest expert report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecast a range from about 30cm to just under a metre, depending on emissions.Asked to consider what the world would be like if the “scarier” projections of climate change for the end of the century became reality, Professor Hansen, former director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said: “I don’t think we’re going to get four or five degrees this century, because we get a cooling effect from the melting ice. But the biggest effect will be that melting ice.“In my opinion that’s the big thing – sea-level rise – because we have such a large fraction of people on coastlines, more than half of the large cities in the world are on coastlines.

“The economic implications of that, and the migrations and the social effects of migrations … the planet could become practically ungovernable, it seems to me.

“Once sea levels go up significantly, you won’t have stable shorelines. Just parts of the city will go under water, but then it doesn’t make sense to continue to build there … By the time you get to even one-meter rise, you’re going to be losing more land.”The growing human population was a “problem”, he said.“That’s why you want to have energy that’s needed for people to eliminate poverty, because countries that have become wealthy have the population under control. But if you do begin to lose major cities [then] the planet becomes ungovernable,” Professor Hansen said.But if the world did reach four or five degrees, the scientist said this would mean “the tropics and the subtropics are going to be practically uninhabitable”.

“It’s already becoming uncomfortable in the summers, in the subtropics, you can’t work outdoors. And agriculture, more than half of the jobs are outdoors,” he said. He also reiterated the argument in favour of a carbon tax in which the proceeds were given back to the public – creating a windfall for more than two-thirds of the population.

“If you made the price of fossil fuels honest by including a gradually rising carbon fee, then it actually spurs the economy and increases the GNP as you shift toward clean energies and energy efficiency. It creates potentially millions of jobs,” Professor Hansen said.

“The way to spur the economy – to modernise the economy and modernise the energy structure – would be to give the money back to the public because a carbon fee is a progressive tax, in the sense that rich people have bigger carbon footprints.

“So if you do give 100 per cent of the money to the public, 70 per cent of the public comes out ahead.”

July 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 1 Comment

Geoffrey Robertson puts the legal and moral case for phasing out Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent

Using Trident would be illegal, so let’s phase it out https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/15/trident-illegal-nuclear-britain-arsenal?CMP=share_btn_fb, Geoffrey Robertson   Nuclear doom is nearer than most of us believe, experts warn. Britain must set a moral lead by becoming the first of the ‘big five’ powers to reduce its arsenal. The most portentous decision for every new prime minister is what to write in the secret “letter of last resort” to Trident submarine commanders telling them what to do with their nuclear missiles if the British government is wiped out. In Monday’s debate on the renewal of Trident, Theresa May should tell parliament what life-or-death decision she has made in her letters of last resort.

It is said that Margaret Thatcher ordered our nukes, trained on Moscow, to be fired so as to cause maximum destruction to the enemy – ie to its civilians. That order, even for a nuclear “second strike”, would today be illegal.

It is ironic that although Chilcot produced so much condemnation of Blair for joining an unlawful war, MPs are now being asked to vote for a weapons system that cannot be used without committing a crime against humanity. This was defined in 1998 by the Rome Statute, which set up the international criminal court, as “a systematic attack directed against a civilian population, resulting in extermination or torture, or an inhumane act intentionally causing great suffering”.

The same statute additionally makes it a war crime to intentionally launch an attack in the knowledge that it would cause incidental loss of civilian life or severe damage to the natural environment, out of proportion to military advantage.

Trident’s 200 thermonuclear bombs, each 10 times more powerful than those that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are illegal because they cannot discriminate between military targets and hospitals, churches and schools; because of their capacity to cause untold human suffering for generations to come; and because their consequences (eg ionising radiation, which tortures victims and lingers for half a century) are beyond the control or knowledge of the attacker, who cannot judge the proportionality of their use.

As the international court of justice put it, back in 1996: “The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in space or time. They have the potential to destroy all civilisation and the entire ecosystem of the planet.”

So why is our law-abiding government spending tens of billions on a weapons system that cannot lawfully be used?

First, because its advisers wrongly think that nuclear weapons are legal in certain circumstances. Back in that 1996 case, the UK argued that it could lawfully drop “a low-yield nuclear weapon against warships on the high seas or troops in sparsely populated areas”.

This scenario has now been shown up as fantastical: “first use” in these circumstances by the UK would trigger a nuclear reprisal with inevitable damage to the atmosphere, the oceans and the “sparsely populated” area (which would henceforth be entirely unpopulated). In any event, Trident’s weapon-bays will not carry “low-yield” bombs, and if they did the result would be better achieved by conventional weapons, making nuclear deployment unnecessary and disproportionate.

The world court ruled that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would “generally” be contrary to war law but might be lawful “in extreme circumstances of self-defence, in which the very survival of a state would be at stake”. This was a time-warped view of war law in 1996 that is not tenable today. The court, to be fair, predicted as much, saying that it expected international law to “develop” towards a total ban on the use of the bomb. It soon did, with the Rome Statute and subsequent development of the principle that a state has no right to preserve itself at the expense of damage to other states and to the rights to life of millions of citizens.

It is absurd to suggest that it would have been lawful for Hitler, his back to the bunker wall, to start a nuclear Götterdämmerung to save the Nazi state (Nuremberg decided it was not lawful for him even to fire doodlebugs). Given what we now know about the uncontrollable and devastating propensities of modern nuclear weapons, it is unlawful to fire them at all.

There is a further legal reason for allowing Trident to wear out. It is Article VI of the nuclear proliferation treaty (NPT), by which parties undertake to proceed in good faith to “general and complete” nuclear disarmament.

The world court’s 1996 ruling decided that this imposed not a “mere” obligation but a binding legal obligation on existing nuclear states to reduce the number of their bombs gradually, to zero. It is contrary to the spirit of article VI to upgrade rather than downgrade the fleet.

A decision to phase out Trident would help Britain recover some of the clout it has lost through Brexit. It would show moral leadership, and shame other nuclear powers that have failed to live up to their NPT obligations (especially the US; President Obama’s Nobel prize was prematurely awarded in part for envisaging “a world without nuclear weapons”).

Moral leadership from a nuclear-weapons state is urgently needed. The latest US defence budget allocates $1tn for future modernisation of its nukes and it has acquired new sites for them, in Poland and Romania. President Putin has promised in return a new generation of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. The American most knowledgeable on the subject – Bill Clinton’s defence secretary William J Perry – has just published a book warning that “nuclear doom” is closer today than it ever was during the cold war.

Although possession of nuclear weapons is not per se unlawful, the UK is under a duty to reduce its arsenal: the vice of refurbishing Trident is that it encourages other states to do the same, and remains a constant stimulus for countries – particularly in the Middle East and Asia – to acquire arsenals of their own.

When negotiating to buy Polaris (Trident’s predecessor), back in 1962, Harold Macmillan confided in his diary that “the whole thing is ridiculous”, but consoled himself with the thought that “countries which have played a great role in history must retain their dignity”.

A half-century later, the best way for Britain to regain its dignity post-Brexit is not to throw vast sums of money away on a weapon that cannot lawfully be used, but rather to appear as the first of the “big five” powers to shoulder its legal obligation to disarm under article VI of the NPT. It will be many years before the mushroom cloud becomes a hallucination, but at least Britain would be able to boast that it had led the way.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Legal, politics international, Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Tories well aware that the Trident nuclear deterrent is unnecessary, and a waste of money

The Tories know Trident is a waste of money and only they can kill it off, Guardian, Chris Mullin, 15 July 17  Our nuclear deterrent is purely symbolic but Labour would never be forgiven for letting it go. A
few days from now parliament will be asked to make a final decision on whether or not to spend around £40bn renewing Trident. Many of the Labour MPs arguing in favour do so not because they regard nuclear weapons as an essential tool in our armoury, but because they are terrified of being thought “soft” on defence. And they are right to be worried. For years the British addiction to nuclear armaments has proved a devastating weapon in the hands of the Conservatives and their friends in the tabloid media, even if they are not much use against our enemies.

 And yet just about anyone who has ever given the matter any thought knows it’s bonkers. Most Tories know in their heart of hearts that Trident is of little or no relevance to national defence in the 21st century. So, too, do a fair swath of the military. Indeed, our possession of nuclear weapons was never primarily about defending us from the Russians. On the contrary, it made us a target……….
None of this, if course, cuts any ice with our hysterical tabloids or our political masters. Trident might not prove much use against the Russians, but it is a valuable – if rather expensive – stick with which to beat the government’s political opponents. In the past the Labour party has been deeply damaged by the – false – allegation that it would leave the country defenceless and understandably most Labour MPs have no desire to repeat the experience. Paradoxically, the opposite is true. Dispensing with Trident would enable badly needed investment in our conventional forces. Something many senior Tories and members of the military establishment are only too well aware of.

For Labour the only way out of the current dilemma is to allow its MPs a free vote and then forget about it. The stark political reality is that only a Tory government could phase out our nuclear arsenal. The case for doing so is not difficult to argue, if only they could bring themselves to forgo the short-term political advantages of pro-Trident posturing and address the long-term national interest. Were they to do so, it would be a five-minute wonder and then quietly forgotten. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/14/tories-trident-waste-money-nuclear-deterrent-symbolic-labour

July 17, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

France’s new government to work out plan for reducing nuclear power generation

French Minister Sticking to Planned Nuclear Power Cuts https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/68481/french-minister-sticking-to-planned-nuclear-power-cuts., 17 July 17

France should define a clear roadmap to fulfill its pledge to cut the share of nuclear power in its electricity generation to 50% by 2025, French ecology minister said in an interview in the Sunday edition of regional daily Ouest-France.

A 2015 law requires France to reduce within eight years the share of atomic power generation to 50% from over 75% currently and include more renewable wind and solar generation, Reuters reported.

Nicolas Hulot also said in a radio interview that for France to meet that target, it might have to shut down up to 17 of its 58 nuclear reactors operated by state-controlled utility EDF.

His comments drew questions from observers on how nuclear-dependent France, a net power exporter in Europe, could possibly shut down 17 reactors and continue to guarantee adequate power supply.

Hulot clarified that he did not say 17 reactors must close, but that if the 2015 law were respected, the reactors would have to close.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has maintained the target of cutting French nuclear production by 2025.

“We have to define realistic and possible scenarios, otherwise it will be brutal,” Hulot said. Hulot, an environmental campaigner who was appointed ecology minister by Macron, said that since the 2015 law was passed, little has been done and there was no clear strategy on how France would meet the 50% target.

“I want to engage in planned course of action, especially on a social and economic level,” Hulot said. “Nuclear power plants cannot be closed without taking into account the reality of jobs. We must model scenarios and build a roadmap.”

The closure of nuclear plants is a hot-button issue in France with trade unions and some political parties saying the plan would cripple the French nuclear sector.

Hulot also said state-controlled utility EDF would have to accelerate its development of renewable energies.

“The French authorities could stimulate the development of these energies by implementing tax incentives, easing regulatory processes and cutting the length of potential litigations,” he said.

 

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, Legal, politics | Leave a comment

Climate change is a ‘Direct Threat’ to Security – USA’s Republican dominated Congress

In Landmark Move, GOP Congress Calls Climate Change ‘Direct Threat’ to Security
Extreme weather and rising seas threaten bases from Virginia to Guam. For the first time, a Republican House has voted to recognize that.
 Foreign Policy, BY BETHANY ALLEN-EBRAHIMIAN, JULY 14, 2017  BETHANY.ALLEN  @BETHANYALLENEBR

 

July 17, 2017 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Conflict in remote Himalayan plateau could lead to war between India and China

Warnings of a ‘chance of war’ between India and China as nuclear rivals face off Benedict Brooknews.com.au JULY 17, 2017 ASK most people to name a current crisis between nuclear armed states and North Korea and the US’ rapidly worsening relations would come to mind.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | China, India, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment