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30Bq/kg of Strontium 90 in Sea Breams in the Sea 2km from the Kido River

TEPCO released a document stating that 30Bq/kg of Strontium 90 was found in sea breams in the sea 2km from the Kido river (near J-Village).

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2017/images3/fish03_170713-j.pdf

 

22 july 2017 Strontium sea breams 1

 

22 july 2017 Strontium sea breams 2

 

22 july 2017 Strontium sea breams 3

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

Fuel debris possibly found in Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactor 3

Images show possible fuel debris

Engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are working to scrap the facility’s damaged reactors. For the first time, they’ve found what’s likely to be fuel debris in one of them.

The engineers have been trying to locate molten fuel in the No.3 reactor. The fuel is thought to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel.

They lowered a submersible robot into the 6-meter-deep cooling water in the vessel. The image sent back by the robot shows an orange substance on a device that operates the fuel control rods. Objects shaped like icicles are also visible.

The engineers plan to use the robot to look for fuel debris at the bottom of the containment vessel.

Removing the molten fuel from the reactors is the biggest hurdle to decommissioning them.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170722_04/
20170722_22_355298_L.jpg

TEPCO surveys bottom of reactor containment vessel

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has carried out another robotic survey in one of the damaged reactors. The probe is meant to confirm the existence and status of fuel debris consisting of molten fuel and reactor parts.

Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, say the probe took place at the bottom of the containment vessel in the No.3 reactor on Saturday. The vessel’s bottom is thought to hold much fuel debris.

TEPCO used a robot designed to move through cooling water in the vessel.

The survey follows Friday’s release of photographs taken during the previous underwater robotic probe of the same vessel. The robot did not reach the vessel’s bottom during the first probe.

The images show rock-like lumps located near walls of a reactor-supporting structure and various other parts of the vessel.

TEPCO officials say it is very likely the lumps are fuel debris created after nuclear fuel in the reactor melted, mixed with reactor parts, and fell. If confirmed, this would be the first time fuel debris has been found in the No.3 reactor.

Robotic probes have so far failed to provide clear evidence showing the existence and status of fuel debris in other 2 damaged reactors.

Removing the fuel debris is one of the major hurdles to decommissioning the reactors which continues to emit extremely high levels of radiation.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170722_22/

 

 

 

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

“Possible” melted fuel seen for first time at Fukushima plant

“Possible” – “apparently” – “what is believed to be” – “suggesting” …
A lot of qualifiers here, and obligatory glee for our cute ‘little sunfish’, but they got one thing absolutely right in this report: they didn’t call it a ‘crippled plant’, it’s now officially the “destroyed plant”; and the most important fact or folly is buried towards the end: “to remove the melted fuel, a process expected to begin sometime after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics…
800
TOKYO — An underwater robot captured images of solidified lava-like rocks Friday inside a damaged reactor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, spotting for the first time what is believed to be nuclear fuel that melted six years ago.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the robot found large amounts of lava-like debris apparently containing fuel that had flowed out of the core into the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima. The plant was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Cameras mounted on the robot showed extensive damage caused by the core meltdown, with fuel debris mixed with broken reactor parts, suggesting the difficult challenges ahead in the decades-long decommissioning of the destroyed plant.
Experts have said the fuel melted and much of it fell to the chamber’s bottom and is now covered by radioactive water as deep as 6 meters (20 feet). The fuel, during meltdown, also likely melted its casing and other metal structures inside the reactor, forming rocks as it cooled.
TEPCO spokesman Takahiro Kimoto said it was the first time a robot camera has captured what is believed to be the melted fuel.
“That debris has apparently fallen from somewhere higher above. We believe it is highly likely to be melted fuel or something mixed with it,” Kimoto said. He said it would take time to analyze which portions of the rocks were fuel.
In an earlier survey Wednesday, the robot found severe damage in the vessel, including key structures that were broken and knocked out of place.
The robot, nicknamed “the Little Sunfish,” on Friday went inside a structure called the pedestal for a closer look. TEPCO plans to send the robot farther down on Saturday in hopes of finding more melted fuel and debris.
Experts have said the melted fuel is most likely to have landed inside the pedestal after breaching the core.
Kimoto said the robot probe in its two missions has captured a great deal of useful information and images showing the damage inside the reactor, which will help experts eventually determine a way to remove the melted fuel, a process expected to begin sometime after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s still just the beginning of the (decades-long) decommissioning. There is still a long way to go, including developing the necessary technology,” he said. “But it’s a big step forward.”
Locating and analyzing the fuel debris and damage in each of the three wrecked reactors is crucial for decommissioning the plant. The search for melted fuel in the two other reactors has so far been unsuccessful because of damage and extremely high radiation levels.
The submersible robot, about the size of a loaf of bread, is equipped with lights, maneuvers with five propellers and collects data with two cameras and a dosimeter. It is controlled remotely by a group of four operators. It was co-developed by Toshiba Corp., the electronics, nuclear and energy company charged with helping clean up the plant, and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a government-funded consortium.
 
The material has smooth thick edges making it unlikely to be rust, though there are considerable areas of rust inside containment. This material also does not match any known material from previous reactor meltdowns or melted fuel (corium) research. TEPCO makes no specific mention of this substance.
20228750_1160345494071271_6129718615162848644_n.jpg
Evident inside the pedestal area is a pale colored thick substance that has adhered to solid surfaces. This same material is seen throughout the area of the containment structure inspected with a scope earlier. Now this same material is found inside the pedestal area.
Special credits to Fukushima Response Campaign & Fukuleaks

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

The danger of America failing to keep its end of the Iran nuclear deal

Iran nuclear deal still under threat — US must keep its end of the bargain, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/343139-iran-nuclear-deal-still-under-threat-us-must-keep-its-end 

Earlier this week, the Trump administration certified for a second time that Iran remains in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran Deal. However, media reportsindicate that the president was deeply reluctant to certify Iran’s compliance and may not be willing to do so in the future.

The administration is required to certify Iran’s compliance every 90 days, and if it fails to do so, Congress is given a 60-day period during which it can re-impose sanctions or abandon the deal altogether. Some in Congress would jump at this opportunity to kill the deal. But if the United States violates or walks away from the nuclear deal, it will alienate our allies and partners who helped us negotiate the agreement, allow Iran to resume its nuclear weapons program, and damage U.S. national security.

Iran’s nuclear activity was the subject of much concern before the JCPOA effectively constrained the risk of an Iranian nuclear weapon. Before formal negotiations were started, it is estimated that Iran was mere weeksaway from “breaking out,” or having enough fissile material to create a nuclear weapon. Now, Iran is more than a year away from breaking out.

Iran’s obligations under the deal have been strict and verifiable. Under the agreement, Iran has forfeited its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and has reduced its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by about 97 percent. It has removed two-thirds of its centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, and is prohibited from enriching uranium above 3.67 percent — far below the 90 percent enrichment required for use in nuclear weapons.

The JCPOA also blocks Iran’s pathway to a plutonium weapon by requiring Iran to render its plutonium reactor inoperable, redesign the Arak facility so that it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium, and send all radioactive waste out of the country so that it cannot be reprocessed to create plutonium.

Critics of the deal have argued that it gives Iran a “clear path to the bomb” because some of the deal’s provisions will be phased out after a specified number of years. However, even after all of the so-called “sunset clauses” have expired, Iran has indefinitely signed up to the Additional Protocol, an agreement which permanently allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct intrusive inspections on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran’s compliance with the deal has been consistently verified by the IAEA and the intelligence agencies of other countries interested in the agreement. Even initial critics of the JCPOA, like Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Senator Bob Corker, agree that it is in the United States’ national security interest to adhere to it.

Still, as President Trump’s reluctance to certify Iran’s compliance illustrates, the deal remains under threat. In addition to the question of certifying compliance, the Trump administration is conducting an interagency review of the deal to determine whether to continue suspending nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. If the Trump administration decides to stop waiving these sanctions, it will constitute a material breach of the deal.

Similarly, Congress is in the process of passing a bill that would authorize sanctions against Iran for its ballistic missile tests and sponsorship of terrorism, neither of which are addressed by the nuclear deal. Negotiators intentionally excluded these issues from the JCPOA, because they correctly understood that the nuclear issue was the first and most pressing issue at hand. Congress can and should address Iran’s missile program and support for terrorism, but must be careful to do so in a way that will not violate the nuclear deal. Reapplying waived sanctions under the guise of targeting new activities or legislating well-intentioned but poorly thought-out mandates for how the Trump administration must punish Iran will jeopardize the agreement.

There is no doubt that intentionally abandoning or accidentally violating the JCPOA will be detrimental to U.S. national security. Iran would be able to keep billions of dollars in sanctions relief that it received as part of the deal, and could choose to block IAEA inspections at its nuclear facilities. The United States could reintroduce sanctions against Iran, but our allies have indicated they have no interest in renegotiating or reapplying sanctions. The United States would be on its own and Iran could restart its race to a nuclear bomb.

There is only one good option: Uphold our end of the Iran deal while closely watching to ensure that Iran upholds theirs. We can and should combat Iran’s destabilizing activities, but not at the cost of a nuclear deal that is making the United States and the world safer.

Bernadette Stadler is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, where she works on issues including North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, U.S.-Russian relations, and the Iran nuclear agreement.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Iran refrains from being drawn into a row, by USA’s new sanctions slapped on Iran

Iran skips opportunity to upset nuclear deal over U.S. sanctions: sources VIENNA (Reuters) 22 July 17 – Iran decided on Friday for the second time since January not to upset its nuclear pact with six world powers, two informed sources said, despite public statements by Tehran accusing the United States of violating the deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday new U.S. economic sanctions imposed against Iran contravened the nuclear accord reached with world powers in 2015 and he pledged Tehran would “resist” them while respecting the deal itself.

The Trump administration slapped new sanctions on Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile program and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any “positive contributions” coming from the nuclear accord, which was reached during the Obama administration.

Iran can use the so-called Joint Commission meetings held every three months in Vienna to trigger a formal dispute resolution mechanism set out for cases where one party feels there is a breach of the deal……

A source with knowledge of the matter said “the Iranians did complain a lot and the Russians supported them, but they won’t play along to Washington’s game and be turned into killjoys.”

This source, and another one with knowledge of Friday’s meeting, said Iran did not use the plenary session comprised of envoys from Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the EU to start a dispute resolution.

This mirrored Tehran’s actions in January at a previous so-called Joint Commission meeting, which is held in Vienna every three months, when Iranian officials opted not to escalate a stand-off over the extension of other U.S. sanctions…….https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-idUSKBN1A6248

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Iran, safety | Leave a comment

Accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons – and work from there.

Accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons

The precondition, though, should be no preconditions. As unpalatable as it sounds, it’s time humankind accepted that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons, that it won’t give them up, and to work from there.

World Leaders Must Accept The Reality Of A Nuclear North Korea And Work From There, https://www.forbes.com/sites/insideasia/2017/07/20/world-leaders-must-accept-the-reality-of-a-nuclear-north-korea-and-work-from-there/#491264ed3c2b, Inside Asia ,   CONTRIBUTOR, William Pesek Mr. Pesek is a Tokyo-based journalist and the author of “Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan’s Lost Decades.” 

Some national leaders surround themselves with “yes-men,” toadies who agree with anything they do. Wiser leaders choose advisors who speak up when needed. And then there’s South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, who wants to be his own “no-man.”

In recent speeches aimed at calming tensions with North Korea, Moon laid out a “four no’s” doctrine: No hostile steps toward Pyongyang, no military dramas, no regime-change ulterior motives and no forced “artificial” reunification. With all these assurances, Moon is trying to get Kim Jong-un to say “yes” to fresh dialogue and cooperation on the peninsula.

But there’s also a fifth “no” Moon needs to keep in mind — the near-certain answer to whether his gambit, however well-intentioned, will succeed.

Kim’s survival depends on his military  Consider, first, what Kim is up to with at least 11 missile tests this year: building deterrence abroad and energizing his base at home. The recent attempted test of an intercontinental ballistic missile was aimed, symbolically at least, at a Donald Trump White House pushing a more confrontational line on Pyongyang. It also targeted the trigger-happy generals peering over his shoulder. Kim needs to looks as strong and antagonistic as his father and granddad, if not more.

The influence of these Cold War relics is arguably greater than that of Trump, Moon or China’s Xi Jinping, traditionally North Korea’s main benefactor. Kim can take out foes, kill his uncle and order, allegedly, the assassination of his half-brother.

But his survival, and that of the dynasty, depends on preserving the loyalty of his generals and admirals. Trump has an “America first” policy. Kim’s manta is “military first,” and the volume is rising. Continue reading

July 22, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Rosatom’s plans to DEVELOP NUCLEAR CLUSTER IN SOUTH AFRICA 

ROSATOM SAYS IT HAS PLANS TO DEVELOP NUCLEAR CLUSTER IN SA http://ewn.co.za/2017/06/19/rosatom-says-it-has-plans-to-develop-nuclear-cluster-in-sa  In April, the Western Cape High Court ruled that government’s decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy was unlawful and unconstitutional.Tara Penny JOHANNESBURG – Russia’s Rosatom has confirmed it is in contact with South African authorities on plans concerning the civilian use of nuclear energy.

The CEO of Rosatom’s foreign unit, Anastasia Zoteyeva made the comment while answering questions on the sidelines of a conference in Moscow on Monday morning.

She also told reporters that the Russian state nuclear corporation is proposing to develop a whole nuclear cluster in South Africa.

In April, the Western Cape High Court ruled that government’s decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Earthlife Africa, which brought the case, said the judgment vindicates its argument that the process government has followed was unlawful because it failed to consult the public about its decision.

The case was first brought in October 2015, when Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute argued that former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersen had not consulted the public nor Parliament before deciding to procure 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power.

The judgment meant all deals that government had pursued with Russia and the United States were not valid.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | marketing, politics international, Russia, South Africa | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) OK’s Storage of Nuclear Waste Below Miami’s Drinking Water

Feds Say FPL Can Store Nuclear Waste Below Miami’s Drinking Water Because It’s “Not Likely” to Leak, Miami New Times, FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2017  

July 22, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Nuclear fuel debris hangs like icicles in Fukushima reactor No 3

Fukushima robot finds potential fuel debris hanging like icicles in reactor 3 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/21/national/fukushima-robot-finds-potential-fuel-debris-hanging-like-icicles-reactor-3/#.WXJyHRWGPGg, BY KAZUAKI NAGATA, STAFF WRITER, JUL 21, 2017 Tokyo Electric said Friday that a remotely controlled robot investigating the interior of reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has finally spotted objects that could potentially be fuel debris.

The objects look like icicles hanging around a control rod drive attached to the bottom of the pressure vessel, which holds the core, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said at an evening news conference.

 Enclosed by the huge primary containment vessel, the pressure vessel originally contained the fuel rod assemblies. But the rods melted into a puddle and pierced the bottom of the pressure vessel once the plant lost power after being swamped by the monstrous tsunami of March 11, 2011.

The robot also captured images of lumps of material that appear to have melted and resolidified near the wall of the pedestal, a concrete structure that supports the pressure vessel.

“From the pictures taken today, it is obvious that some melted objects came out of the reactor. This means something of high temperature melted some structural objects and came out. So it is natural to think that melted fuel rods are mixed with them,” said Takahiro Kimoto, a Tepco spokesman.

“In that sense, it is possible that the melted objects found this time are melted fuel debris or probably around it,” he said, saying the utility will think about how they can be analyzed to determine if they are the former fuel rods.

This is the first time Tepco has found something likely to be melted fuel. When the utility sent a different robot into reactor 2 in January, it found black lumps sticking to the grating in the primary containment vessel but said they were difficult to identify.

The utility began probing reactor 3 on Wednesday. Since the PCV has 6 meters of water in it, which is higher than in reactors 1 and 2, the 30-cm robot will have to go deep under water.

The robot has two cameras — one on the front that can pivot 180 degrees vertically, and another on its back.

Tepco will continue the probe on Saturday.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Hawaii’s preparations for a North Korea nuclear attack

Hawaii is preparing for a North Korea nuclear attack, New York Post, 21 July 17Officials in Hawaii are launching a campaign to help residents plan for a nuclear missile attack from North Korea — much to the dismay of the state’s tourism industry.

The Aloha State’s Emergency Management Agency is kicking off an educational campaign aimed at helping people figure out what to do if strongman Kim Jung Un decides to follow through with his threats, according to Hawaii News Now.

We need to tell the public what the state is doing,” agency chief Vern Miyagi said. “We do not want to cause any undue stress for the public; however, we have a responsibility to plan for all hazards.”

The plan, which will be unveiled in full on Friday, includes Cold War-style evacuation drills for school students and announcements that say “Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned,” according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The plan also includes tests of a new emergency siren on the first work day of every month, according to Hawaii News Now.

Tourism officials said the plan could be a blow to one of the state’s most important industries…….

Miyagi said the public should simply liken the preparation for a doomsday to the work being done to prepare for hurricanes and tsunamis……..http://nypost.com/2017/07/21/hawaii-is-preparing-for-a-north-korea-nuclear-attack/

July 22, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

ARTIFICIALLY COOLING PLANET EARTH BY THINNING CIRRUS CLOUDS

But Lohmann and Gasparini warn that the plan comes with major drawbacks. It could, they say, lead to even more cirrus clouds being formed, exacerbating global warming in the process.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOENGINEERING: ARTIFICIALLY COOLING PLANET EARTH BY THINNING CIRRUS CLOUDS, NewsWeek, BY HANNAH OSBORNE ON 7/21/17 “……Over recent decades, scientists from across the globe have been discussing the potential of geoengineering—the deliberate manipulation of the environment that could, in theory, cool the planet and help stabilize the climate.

There are main two types of geoengineering. The first involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. This is already being done on an industrial scale, but it is not effective enough at the moment to cope with the huge levels of emissions. The other type, solar radiation management, is more radical—an attempt to reduce the amount of sunlight absorbed by the planet by reflecting it away.

Many ways of doing this have been proposed. One of the most widely discussed (and riskiest) involves the injection of reflective aerosols into the upper atmosphere. This plan is based on the cooling effect of volcanoes: Sulfur dioxide emitted in an eruption causes the formation of droplets of sulfuric acid. These reflect the sunlight away, creating a cooling effect. But this plan could also go very wrong. The sulfuric acid could strip away the ozone layer, leaving Earth completely exposed to the sun’s radiation.

In an article published in the journal Science, Ulrike Lohmann and Blaž Gasparini, from the ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, discuss a variation of this idea: the thinning of cirrus clouds to target the long-wave radiation coming from Earth.

Cirrus clouds are thin and wispy clouds that form at high altitudes and do not reflect much solar radiation back into space, creating a greenhouse effect. The higher the altitude at which they form, the larger the warming effect on the climate. And in a warmer climate, cirrus clouds form at higher altitudes.
So what if we got rid of them? These clouds could be thinned out—leading to a reduction in their warming effect—by seeding them with aerosol particles like sulfuric or nitric acid, which act as “ice nucleating particles” or INPs. If these are injected into the level of the atmosphere where cirrus clouds form, the way they form would be altered, resulting in thinner clouds that have less of a warming effect.

“The maximum cirrus seeding potential would be achieved by removing all cirrus clouds,” they write. “If cirrus thinning works, it should be preferred over methods that target changes in solar radiation, such as stratospheric aerosol injections, because cirrus thinning would counteract greenhouse gas warming more directly.”

But Lohmann and Gasparini warn that the plan comes with major drawbacks. It could, they say, lead to even more cirrus clouds being formed, exacerbating global warming in the process.

“Unintended cirrus formation is especially pronounced if the seeded INPs start to nucleate ice at very low relative humidities…. If cirrus seeding is not done carefully, the effect could be additional warming rather than the intended cooling. If done carefully, the negative radiative effect from cirrus seeding should be stronger in a warmer climate, in which the overall radiative effect of cirrus clouds will be larger.”

Because of the dangers, the scientists say any plan to thin cirrus clouds should be limited to specific times and places, where it would be most effective. “Contrary to solar radiation management methods, cirrus seeding is more effective at high than at low latitudes. A small-scale deployment of cirrus seeding could therefore be envisioned—for instance, in the Arctic to avoid further melting of Arctic sea ice,” they say, but the scientists add that there are many questions that need to be answered before cirrus thinning can be further explored.

“It is also important to remember that, like solar radiation management, cirrus thinning cannot prevent the CO2 increase in the atmosphere and the resulting ocean acidification,” they conclude. “For the time being, cirrus cloud thinning should be viewed as a  thought experiment that is helping to understand cirrus cloud–formation mechanisms.” http://www.newsweek.com/climate-change-geoengineering-artificially-cool-planet-640124

July 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, technology | Leave a comment

No prospect of Britain sending nuclear wastes back to Europe

Curious confusion over British threat to dump nuclear materials on EU http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/curious-confusion-over-british-threat.html     Letter to the Financial Times 21 July 17 

Your report “UK issues coded warning to Brussels over nuclear waste” (Financial Times, 20 July; https://www.ft.com/content/0c56a4f2-6bc5-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa) is based on a curious confusion and a worrying level of ignorance by anonymous so-called nuclear experts your reporters say have advised the UK Government.
It a is both an empty and, frankly, a totally counter-productive threat to return fissile materials ( and radioactive wastes)  to countries of origin in the EU, as part of a sui-disant  negotiating  posture on Brexit by the UK, in order to  “
On 19 January this year, the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)  announced it  had agreed to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) taking ownership of 600 kg of material previously owned by a Spanish utility, and  of 5 kg of material previously owned by a German organisation.
 
BEIS asserted that “These transactions, which have been agreed by the Euratom Supply Agency, will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK, and will not therefore increase the overall amount of plutonium in the UK.” adding  it had “agreed to these transactions on the grounds that they offer a cost-effective and beneficial arrangement, which allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium located in the UK, and facilitates conclusion of outstanding contracts with the Spanish and German” (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-01-19/HCWS422/).
receding this, three years ago, on 3 July 2014 the UK announced that it had struck an agreement with German and Swedish governments to take title to 140 kgs of plutonium in the former case, and 800 kgs in the latter, arising from the reprocessing at Sellafield and management at Dounreay respectively of spent nuclear fuel from the two nations.https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140702/text/140702w0003.htm#140702100000002)

And, earlier, in April 2013, BEIS’s predecessor department, DECC, announced in a statement on management of oversees owned plutonium   it was taking over 750 kg of plutonium belonging to German utilities, 1,850 kg previously loaned from France, and 350 kg from Dutch firm GKN. At the same time, 650 kg of plutonium stored at Sellafield was transferred from German to Japanese ownership.(https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/written-ministerial-statement-by-michael-fallon-management-of-overseas-owned-plutonium-in-the-uk)

 A similar deal with Germany in in 2012 saw the UK take ownership of  4,000 kgs of plutonium. (http://fissilematerials.org/blog/2012/07/united_kingdom_takes_owne.html)
Thus the overseas ownership of plutonium in the UK has gradually been transferred to the UK. Thus there is no prospect of any ship sailing towards  Antwerp (or any other EU port) as the nuclear expert cited fancifully imagined.
It is possible that some of reprocessing waste arising from the chemical separation of imported foreign spent  nuclear fuel at Sellafield could be returned-to-sender in a fit of pique  by DexEU. However, BEIS has already- through its predecessor department- indicated it wanted to adopt a policy of substitution” based on “radiotoxic equivalence” to  the reprocessing nuclear waste stockpile to minimize the volumes of waste shipped back to continental Europe.
A BEIS official told me at a nuclear policy forum meeting of interested non-governmental parties on 18 July that the department has a team of dedicated staff looking in detail at all the ramifications of withdrawal from Euratom for UK nuclear policy. Perhaps DexEU officials should consult these in-house experts over Euratom before issuing  empty threats.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Legal cases – suing fossil fuel firms over rising sea levels

This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change.
Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas. July 20 2017, Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas.

The three cases, which target firms such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, assert that the fossil fuel producers are collectively responsible for about 20 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions between 1965 and 2015. They claim that industry “knew or should have known” decades ago about the threat of climate change, and want companies to pay the costs of communities forced to adapt to rising seas.

“We’re already living the impact of sea level rise,” said Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears. She said a county vulnerability study found hundreds of county businesses and other assets could be at risk in coming years.

“This lawsuit is a natural next step in how we address the expense we’ve already had in planning for and trying to remediate the impacts of sea level rise, but also in addressing the impacts we expect in the future.”…….

The California cases are also proceeding under a legal doctrine called “public nuisance” (among other claims), which charges that under California common law, the companies have injured the counties and city by contributing to rising seas, and more frequent and severe flooding as a result.

But the difference is that this time, they are making state level nuisance claims rather than federal ones, which have already failed as courts pointed out that those worried about climate change had other recourses, such as EPA action.

The lawsuits were filed in California courts by Marin and San Mateo counties and the City of Imperial Beach, which sits south of San Diego near the Mexico border. Each cites specific damages expected from rising seas.

San Mateo cited worries about the flooding of the San Francisco Airport, along with up to $24 billion in assets being put at risk.

Marin County estimated nearly $16 billion of homes and businesses were threatened, and that with 6.7 feet of sea level rise, 7 percent of coastal roads would be “exposed to higher average sea level and storm threats at several locations.”

Imperial Beach cited the potential for “over $106 million” in property damages because of coastal erosion and argued the town has few resources to adapt to rising seas.

Vic Sher, a partner at the firm of Sher Edling who is helping lead the legal challenge, said the goal behind the lawsuits is to shift the “very real and very large costs of dealing with sea level rise” from ordinary citizens to the companies responsible for knowingly contributing to global warming.

He likened the cases to past litigation that sought to hold tobacco companies accountable for the public health toll of smoking, as well as efforts to force lead paint manufacturers to renovate homes where health risks remain……..

A strength of the lawsuit, note some legal observers, lies in the fact that sea level rise is easily measurable, constant (unlike climate-affected weather events), and very strongly linked to a warming planet. Moreover, analyses have become more and more precise when it comes to mapping which locations will be inundated, or subjected to greater flooding risks, for a given level of rising seas.

Bookbinder said there could be a time when the science is powerful enough to try to assess blame for other climate related changes, such as droughts, but that sea level rise is a stronger and simpler case right now. ……… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/20/this-could-be-the-next-big-strategy-for-suing-over-climate-change/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_term=.af0543ecd151

July 22, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. State Department to clamp ban on travel to North Korea

 Yeganeh Torbati and Se Young Lee, WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) JULY 22, 2017 – The U.S. government on Friday said it will bar Americans from travelling to North Korea due to the risk of “long-term detention” in the country, where a U.S. student was jailed while on a tour last year and later died.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has authorized a “Geographical Travel Restriction” on Americans to forbid them from entering North Korea, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said……http://in.reuters.com/article/northkorea-usa-tours-idINKBN1A61VZ

July 22, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UK govt to exempt polluting industries from contributing to renewables, and cuts subsidies to wind and dolar

Independent 20th July 2017, The Government is planning to give some of the UK’s most polluting
industries a £130m exemption from helping to fund new renewable
technologies, which will “heap costs” onto small companies and households,
environmentalists have warned.

Subsidies for the two cheapest forms of green electricity, onshore wind and solar, have been respectively scrapped
and slashed to the bone, but financial support is still available for
offshore wind and other emerging technologies – to a large degree because
of the potential benefits to the economy.

This is funded by electricity bill payers and the Government has expressed concern about the effect on
“energy intensive industries”. According to the new plan, these companies
would be given an exemption because having to pay extra “can undermine
competitiveness”.

However Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy
policy at WWF-UK, pointed out that this “disappointing decision” would mean
other bill payers would end up paying more and reward firms that are
contributing more than most to global warming.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/uk-energy-intensive-pollution-companies-climate-change-fund-exemption-targets-regulation-global-a7851331.html

July 22, 2017 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment