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Over 30µSv / h Along Side of Recently Fukushima Reopened Route 144

 

Via Oz Yo

Over 30μSv/h was read along side the recently-reopened Route 114 in Fukushima, September 20, 2017. It is insane for the government to give its green light for people to use that road.
6.5 years mean nothing here. Nothing at all.

route national 144 reopen 7 sept 2017

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September 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear watchdog chief holds final press conference before stepping down

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Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Shunichi Tanaka held his final press conference in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Sept. 20 before officially stepping down from his role.

Reflecting on his five-year term in office, Tanaka said, “I tried to maintain independence and transparency,” adding that, “I have absolutely no doubt that I’ve made judgments from a scientific and impartial standpoint, and taken actions based on (the NRA’s) philosophies. This is something that I am proud of.”

However, he also stated that, “The distrust of the public who experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 is an issue that cannot be easily rectified.”

Tanaka became the first chairman of the NRA at the same time the organization was established in September 2012, having previously served as the deputy director general of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute and acting chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission.

During his time as NRA chairman, he led efforts to draw up new regulatory standards based on the lessons learned from the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, and carried out nuclear power plant screening.

Originally hailing from Fukushima Prefecture, Tanaka says he is planning to live in the prefectural village of Iitate after stepping down as NRA head. “It would be great if I could contribute to the recovery of Fukushima (using my experience at the NRA),” Tanaka said.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170921/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco promises legal safety vow as it seeks to restart reactors

Promises are meant to be broken

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The head of Tepco Electric Power company Holdings Inc. promised Wednesday to institute a safety pledge as requested by nuclear regulator, as the company seeks clearance to reactivate undamaged, idle reactors located far from its plant crippled by natural disaster in 2011.

has been calling for the company to make such a pledge part of its legally binding reactor safety program because it operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the site of a major nuclear disaster in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami.

President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told the regulator on Wednesday that will stipulate a pledge to build “safety culture” in its program developed for ensuring safe operation of the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at the company’s power station in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of coast.

promise will pave the way for the regulator’s safety clearance for the two units — boiling-water reactors that are the same type as the ones that experienced meltdowns in the disaster.

The regulator will soon compile a draft document for the two units that will serve as certification that the utility has satisfied new stricter safety requirements implemented since the nuclear disaster.

It will then consult the economy, trade and industry minister, who oversees the nuclear industry, to confirm that is fit to be an operator. It will also solicit comments from the public before formally giving safety clearance.

Even if the reactors clear the safety checks, local governments in the area on which the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant sits remain cautious about their resumption.

Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama, for example, has said it will take “around three to four years” for the utility to win the required local consent for a restart.

said last week was “qualified” as a nuclear plant operator, but that it wanted the utility to express its resolve to ensure safety in a legal document, not just in words.

Safety programs drawn up for reactors need to be approved by the regulator and if it finds a grave violation, it can demand a halt to nuclear power operations from the utility.

“We intend to tackle the unending mission of improving the safety of nuclear power and to complete the decommissioning and compensation of the Fukushima Daiichi complex,” Kobayakawa said at the regulator’s meeting on Wednesday. “We will also make efforts to maintain qualification” as operator of nuclear reactors, he said.

The Nos. 6 and 7 units at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are the newest among the seven units at the plant. The complex is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants with a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts.

For a reactor to be restarted, it first needs to clear the safety requirements introduced in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. filed for safety assessments of the two units in .

, which is facing massive compensation payments and other costs in the aftermath of one of the world’s worst nuclear crises, has been desperate to resume operation of its idled reactors so it can reduce spending on costly fossil fuel imports for non-nuclear thermal power generation.

While some reactors run by other utilities have resumed operations in by satisfying the new safety regulations, has been under close scrutiny by regulators on whether it is qualified to once again operate a nuclear power plant.

http://m.4-traders.com/TOKYO-ELECTRIC-POWER-COMP-6491247/news/Tokyo-Electric-Power-Tepco-promises-legal-safety-vow-as-it-seeks-to-restart-reactors-25144769/

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September 23, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

The week to 23 September in climate and nuclear news

As nations sign up at present, at United Nations, to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Treaty is due to come into force  later, when 50 signed members have ratified it. 122 countries out of the 193 UN member nations approved the draft treaty in July.

The nuclear weapons nations and their associates oppose the treaty, giving various important strategic sounding reasons. But when this UN treaty comes into force, joining the previous treaties that make other forms of mass destruction illegal, the governments with nuclear weapons will no longer be able to claim the moral high ground.  Their stand will sound hollow, against the growing global consensus that the possessing, threatening, using of nuclear weapons is inhumane and immoral.

Equally importantly, at the UN General Assembly, the urgency of the need to address climate change, is being discussed.

Vatican ratifies treaty on the prohibition of nuclear arms.

Concern in China, South Korea, Japan, at Donald Trump’s belligerent speech at United Nations.

USA and South Korea’s show of bombing force against North Korea. North Korea Vows to Complete Nuclear Weapons Program

Nuclear plants in the path of hurricanes – disasters waiting to happen.

Climate change already affecting world health.  –Melting Arctic ice cap

Successful 1987 ozone layer international treaty now involved in fighting climate change. An international Treaty that works! The Montreal Protocol and the healing of the ozone layer.

USA.

NORTH KOREA. threatens hydrogen nuclear bomb test in the Pacific

JAPAN. 6.1 magnitude earthquake 320 kilometres east of Fukushima nuclear plant.  Kyushu Electric plans to restart Genkai No. 4 reactor in March.   Fukushima. Nuclear Fuel Retrieval Delayed.

NORTH KOREA. Report that North Korea may be secretly building nuclear submarine.

UK. UK’s religious leaders unite, to urge Theresa May to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty . Terrorism danger, as weapons grade nuclear material flown from UK to USA.  All proposed nuclear sites in UK are vulnerable to flooding.  Anti-nuclear civil disobedience is ramping up.  A FOURTH unexploded bomb found near Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear site! Most Britons happy to live near wind turbines, but not near Small Modular Nuclear Reactors.

FRANCE. French President Macron calls on Trump to honor Iran nuclear deal.

RUSSIA. Remembering an intelligent man who saved the world from WW3 

BELARUS. Spectre of Chernobyl nuclear disaster rises again, regarding new nuclear power station in Belarus

CHINA. China considers rescuing problematic UK Moorside nuclear station project.

CANADA. Anti nuclear groups invite individual MPs in Canada to sign the nuclear ban treaty.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Many nations signing up to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, at United Nations

World leaders line up to sign nuclear ban treaty http://thebulletin.org/world-leaders-line-sign-nuclear-ban-treaty, Tim Wright, 22 Sept 17

Amid deepening anxiety over the risk of war between the United States and North Korea, much of the international community is embracing the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This historic global agreement formally opened for signature at UN headquarters on Wednesday.

Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and ambassadors from 50 nations lined up to ink the accord, affirming their commitment to disarmament and categorically rejecting, for all time, the most destructive weapons ever created. More leaders are expected to sign in the coming days and weeks.

The signatories hope that, over time, the treaty will establish a powerful global norm against the use and possession of nuclear weapons by any state. Their ultimate objective: to convince all the world’s nations to sign and comply with the treaty, eliminating the nuclear-weapon threat completely.

At the signing ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared the treaty open for signature. “There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence,” he reminded those gathered. “We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.”

Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, also participated in the ceremony. “Humanity simply cannot live under the dark shadow of nuclear warfare,” he said, describing the new treaty as a light “illuminating a pathway towards a world without nuclear weapons.”

Of the 50 nations that signed the treaty on Wednesday, three—Guyana, the Holy See, and Thailand—also deposited their instruments of ratification, thereby formally consenting to be bound to the treaty. Once 50 such instruments have been deposited, the treaty will enter into legal force.

The large number of signatures on the opening day is a remarkable show of support for a treaty that fundamentally challenges the status quo in nuclear diplomacy—one that goes beyond traditional arms control and non-proliferation approaches and embraces an abolitionist agenda.

In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, the United States worked energetically to dissuade nations from signing, perhaps with the aim of preventing it from entering into legal force. But its behind-the-scenes lobbying appears to have been largely unsuccessful.

If ever there were a moment for leaders to declare their total opposition to nuclear weapons, it is now. The dire international security environment is precisely why this treaty is such a vital initiative.

This post is part of Ban Brief, a series of updates on the historic 2017 negotiations to create a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Ban Brief is written by Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Ray Acheson, director ofReaching Critical Will.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Caribbean and climate refugees

Are Hurricanes Creating Climate Refugees In The Caribbean?   Forbes, , 21 Sept 17 “………Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared that 95% of the country of Dominica was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. I suspect that many of the 73,000 residents left the country and with that level of destruction, when can (or will) they go back? Other countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico and the British/U.S. Virgin Islands took massive hits from Irma and Maria as well.Some reports estimate that Puerto Rico may be without power for 4 to 6 months. Places like St. Bart, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Barbuda and Dominica are much smaller, and I am already noticing that they do not get mentioned very much in the social and broader media discussions.

It is for these reasons that I wonder if some of the residents will ever return.  Maria Cristina Garcia is the author of the book, Climate Refugees: The Environmental Origins of Refugee Migrations. In a Cornell University media release, Garcia stated

People have been displaced by climate for millennia…but we are now at a particular historical moment, facing a new type of environmentally driven migration that will be more fast and furious. It will require incredible adaptability and political will to keep up with the changes that are forecasted to happen…..

Garcia is also concerned because climate refugees (displaced due to sea level rise, loss of agricultural productivity, storm-related destruction) would not fall under the current legal designations for refugees. U.S. law bases refugee status on persecution related to religion, race, political viewpoint, or nationality. Other international laws are similar and provide no protection.

The U.S. military is also concerned about climate refugees. A 2011 National Academies study commissioned by the U.S. Navy discussed the various threats and political destabilization that an influx of climate refugees in certain nations would cause. Bangladesh and India may offer a glimpse of such border conflicts already. The same report also expressed concerns about U.S. military resources being stretched thin for climate-related natural disaster relief……..https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/09/21/are-hurricanes-creating-climate-refugees-in-the-caribbean/#163d49ac5e97

September 23, 2017 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Latest escalation in nuclear tension – North Korea and USA – what happens next?

How We Got to North Korea’s Pacific Nuclear Test Threat and What Comes Next  It would be the first above-ground detonation in decades and would send tensions into uncharted territory. The Drive 
BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 I
n ever escalating war of words between the United States and Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian regime in North Korea has reached an entirely new level since President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the Hermit Kingdom in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. It seems all but guaranteed that the rhetoric will lead to new North Korean provocations, but what’s unprecedented and potentially game-changing is that they could potentially include a full demonstration of a nuclear-armed ballistic missile, or at least an above-ground nuclear weapon test, either which in turn would similarly demand some form of American response.

This latest escalation in tensions between the U.S. government and North Korean officials began on Sept. 19, 2017, when Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time with fiery remarks, lashing out at not only North Korea, but also IranCubaVenezuela, and other critics of American foreign policy more broadly. He vowed to put the United States interests first in all matters and encouraged the other assembled leaders to do the same. But he reserved some of the most incendiary comments for Kim, who he has now nicknamed “Rocket Man,” and his regime.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he declared. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”

 This particular statement drew “audible gasps” from some of the world leaders in attendance, according to The Associated Press. The North Korean delegation had already walked out in protest before Trump even began speaking……..

The string of threats, especially Nikki Haley’s comments, suggest the United states and its allies could easily handle the increasingly worrisome situation with military force if it runs out of other options. This of course is entirely untrue and major conflict with North Korea would be devastating for all the involved parties.

Not surprisingly, this has not prompted a change in the behavior of the North Korean regime or Premier Kim. As we at The War Zone have noted for months, these statements feed into the country’s existing paranoid and propaganda that the United States and its allies are actively looking to destroy it and forcefully eliminate its government.

It has only appeared to give North Korea more of a reason to continue to develop advanced ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons to achieve some relative parity with the United States in order, if nothing else, to preserve the regime’s very existence. Kim said as much himself in a televised rebuttal on Sept. 21, 2017……

Trump continued the cycle on Sept. 22, 2017, as part of a series of Tweets on various topics. “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” he posted on the social media site.

If his remarks in front of the United Nations seemed likely to generate a North Korean response, the Tweet sounded closer to a direct challenge. Given Kim’s immediate response to Trump’s threat of total destruction, it seems he will have little room but to make a provocative move in response to this new “test.”

After Kim’s own televised address, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had already said the North Korean response could include detonating a hydrogen bomb in or over the Pacific Ocean. Earlier in September 2017, North Korea tested what experts believe to be a working thermonuclear device…….

In the future, North Korea may simply need to conduct nuclear weapons tests outside of its own borders since the Punggye-ri underground test site may simply not be able to survive the strain of more powerful thermonuclear designs. The nuclear test earlier in September 2017 appeared to cause the tunnel containing the device to collapse, highlighting the limits of underground testing.

Even if the atmospheric test went as intended, it could be difficult to be entirely sure there would be no inadvertent casualties and the resulting fallout could easily fall on civilian mariners or populated areas……..

despite Nikki Haley’s and H.R. McMaster’s insistence that there are available military options to respond to these growing provocations, as well as Trump’s vague threats, any direct action would be fraught with its own dangers. One of the most likely courses of action, shooting down the missile, carries significant risks as the impact of the interceptor could trigger the device or the radioactive debris could fall over populated areas.

Perhaps more importantly to the viability of America’s still largely unproven ballistic missile defense shield, if the intercepting weapon misses or otherwise fails to achieve the desired effect, it would expose a serious vulnerability to not just North Korea, but the rest of the world…..

In particular, systems that engage the missile as it comes falling back down to earth, such as the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system, have a very narrow window to achieve a “kill.” Furthermore, this means that personnel manning the interceptors would likely be in the direct path the incoming weapon, and if it was fully armed, a nuclear test.

There is very little room for failure in any of these scenarios. Even if the shoot down were to go smoothly, it is possible that it could trigger a larger and immensely destructive conflict on the Korean Peninsula or throughout East Asia. The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway has highlighted these various issues previously in a deep dive into the United States’ available options in responding to North Korea’s continued provocations……..

All of these options still come with their own risks, though, and there’s still no indication that they would convince Kim to change course. If the North Korean regime’s primary goal is its own survival, it is perfectly rational for them to continue to demonstrate their resolve to respond in kind to American threats.

And despite his comments, Trump’s first step, on Sept. 21, 2017, was to sign a new executive order penalizing any individual or business doing business with North Korea. This follows a trend of steady sanctions against actors and firms outside of North Korea that the United States accuses of enabling the reclusive country’s government.

Trump and other members of his administration repeatedly question Kim’s mental stability, but as we at The War Zone have noted before, he clearly has a coherent plan. We’re still not sure that U.S. government has developed a thought-out strategy to dissuade him from his chosen path.

Contact the author: jtrevithickpr@gmail.com http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/14561/how-we-got-to-north-koreas-pacific-nuclear-test-threat-and-what-comes-next

September 23, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea: Foreign Minister says North considering hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean

North Korea ‘threatens Pacific nuclear test’ Sky News, , 22 September 2017 North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean of an unprecedented scale, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.

Mr Ri was speaking to reporters in New York when he was asked what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had meant when he threatened in an earlier statement the ‘highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history’ against the United States.

North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test, Mr Ri said, although he did not know his leader’s exact thoughts, Yonhap reported.

In an earlier statement Mr Kim said Mr Trump was ‘mentally deranged’ and his comments were ‘the most ferocious declaration of a war in history,’ Mr Kim said the US president’s UN speech on Tuesday confirmed Pyongyang’s nuclear program has been ‘the correct path’.

‘His remarks … have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,’ Mr Kim said in the statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, promising to make Trump ‘pay dearly for his speech’.

Mr Trump had warned the North Korean leader in his UN address on Tuesday that the United States, if threatened, would ‘totally destroy’ the country of 26 million people and mocked Kim as a ‘rocket man’ on a suicide mission………

He offered more vitriol for Mr Trump, saying he was ‘unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.’

‘Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.., we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history,’ Mr Kim said.http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/09/22/trump-s-un-address-demonstrates–insanity-.html

September 23, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Looking after Chernobyl’s radioactive puppies

The Puppies of Chernobyl

 

HUNDREDS OF RADIOACTIVE PUPPIES JUST GOT SPAYED, NEUTERED AT CHERNOBYL DISASTER SITE http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-puppies-got-spayed-and-neutered-chernobyl-year-669093, BY KATE SHERIDAN An American nonprofit organization, Clean Futures Fund, has started a spay and neuter clinic for the four-legged descendants of survivors of one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on April 26, 1986, some dogs and cats left behind survived and began to breed. More than 400 animals were spayed and neutered in the first year of the clinic’s operation at the former reactor, which ended earlier this month.

The laws governing the exclusion zone around Chernobyl strongly advise people to avoid feeding or touching the dogs, due to the risk of contamination. Not only is the dogs’ fur potentially loaded with radioactive particles, but their food and water is contaminated. The radioactive molecules they ingest may also linger in their bodies.

“We could find areas in their bones where radioisotopes had accumulated. We could survey the bones and we could see the radioactivity in them,” a Clean Futures Fund co-founder, Lucas Hixson, told Newsweek. The program funds medical treatment for locals in addition to running the spay and neuter program at the power plant and in the neighboring city.

“These dogs run through [contaminated areas] and it gets stuck on their coat and on the end of their noses and their feet.”

There are nearly 1,000 dogs in the area around the power plant. Only a few dozen cats live in the highly contaminated areas that the dogs frequent.

Hixson has been traveling to Chernobyl for about five years, initially as a radiation specialist. “I go over there expecting to do my work, and I step off the train at the power plant and there’s a dog in my face. Honestly, it was one of the last things I expected to see at Chernobyl,” he said.

To keep the veterinary hospital as free from radioactive contamination as possible, dogs that come to the facility are examined and washed down until their levels of radioactivity are deemed safe.

Despite the potential risk, Hixson said he’s continued to interact with the dogs. “There is a fair amount of handling that happens. This is a natural reaction between humans and dogs,” he said. “You can’t help yourself.”

“They’re not hazardous to your immediate health and wellbeing. But anytime you go pet the dogs, go wash your hands afterwards before you eat.”

Clean Futures Fund got approval from the Ukranian government for its operations. Other partners include SPCA International, Dogs Trust and two U.S. universities, including Worchester Polytechnic Institute and the University of South Carolina.

Hixson also noted the local workers have welcomed the team. “I remember there was a lot of skepticism when we showed up,” he said. “But after about two or three days of us catching dogs, processing them, releasing them, the attitude immediately changed,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.”

Even if every dog and cat in Chernobyl is sterilized and vaccinated, the wider stray dog issue in Ukraine means that more dogs could move into the contaminated area and Clean Futures Fund’s efforts could be somewhat for naught. Ultimately, Hixson would like to work with the Ukranian government on a wider rescue program to get the dogs out of the area and into homes.

He will be returning in November to measure the impact of the program, which is expected to run for five years. The next spay and neuter clinic will happen next summer.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Pilgrim Nuclear power station forced to reduce power due to stormy weather and rising ocean temperatures

Stormy weather forces Pilgrim nuclear plant to power down, es Pilgrim nuclear plant to power down, http://www.patriotledger.com/news/20170922/stormy-weather-forces-pilgrim-nuclear-plant-to-power-down By Christine Legere / Cape Cod Times, PLYMOUTH — Tropical storm Jose has been churning up the waters of Cape Cod Bay and creating operational problems for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in the process.

Pilgrim operators reduced the reactor’s power to 70 percent of its maximum Thursday due to rising ocean water temperatures. The temperature of the seawater used to cool the reactor cannot exceed 75 degrees under standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“We took action when it reached 71 degrees to ensure we did not challenge the limit,” said Patrick O’Brien, spokesman for Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner and operator.

Pilgrim draws up to 500 million gallons daily from Cape Cod Bay. The water cools the reactor and the turbine, passing through a network of thousands of tubes.

The seawater being discharged by the nuclear reactor is considerably hotter than the water drawn in — as much as 30 degrees hotter. The locations of the water intake structure and discharge structure at Pilgrim are separated by a jetty to help prevent the warm discharge water from migrating to the intake area and boosting the water temperature there.

“Previously, during storm monitoring, operations identified the potential for ocean conditions that would require preemptive actions and a power reduction as salt service water temperatures rose,” O’Brien said in his email. “Once predetermined criteria were met, operators commenced power reduction.”

  Nuclear plants are about one-third efficient, explained David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Of the three units of energy produced by the reactor core, one third goes out onto the transmission lines as electricity, and two thirds gets rejected to the nearby body of water,” Lochbaum said. “Reducing the reactor power level reduces the amount of heat energy carried away by the discharge flow, thus also reducing the amount of warm water sneaking around the jetty to re-enter the plant.”

The reactor will remain at reduced power until ocean temperatures allow for its return to full power operation, O’Brien said. — Follow Christine Legere on Twitter: @ChrisLegereCCT.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s appearance at United Nations was not a diplomatic success

Trump makes little headway in his first turn on U.N. world stage LA Times, 22 Sept 17 Tracy Wilkinson   Contact Reporter

The presidents of Japan and South Korea welcomed Trump’s announcement of new sanctions against North Korea but privately questioned whether his threat to “totally destroy” the country would lead to the diplomacy they prefer.

Arab and Iranian leaders sat stone-faced during Trump’s bellicose address on Tuesday — while several other world leaders reacted with bemusement, chagrin and confusion to his often-contradictory comments.

Netanyahu could be observed laughing and grinning as Trump described the hard-fought international nuclear accord with Iran as the “worst deal ever” and an “embarrassment” to the United States.

Far from taming his enemies, Trump seems to have inflamed tensions further as the world faces a nuclear-armed North Korea and worries about a deal designed to prevent Iran from building a bomb.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday night that North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said in New York that his country may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean to fulfill leader Kim Jong Un’s vow to take the “highest level” action.

The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which the United States and the Soviet Union signed in 1963, forbade atmospheric and underwater testing of nuclear weapons. No confirmed ocean tests have occurred since then, but North Korea is not a signatory.

North Korea conducted an underground test of what it called a hydrogen bomb on Sept. 3. An ocean test could severely damage the environment as well as expand the security crisis…….

During the weeklong General Assembly, Trump, invoking his reality-TV flair for drama, said he had made a decision on whether to walk away from the Iranian deal, but he would not yet reveal it.

His administration recently continued lifting sanctions against Iran, which was part of the agreement. But next month, Trump must issue a separate certification to Congress on whether Iran is complying with the deal, an every-90-day requirement under U.S. law.

Several administration officials have suggested Trump will not certify compliance even though the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog,  the International Atomic Energy Agency, has found Iran in compliance eight times since the deal was signed in 2015. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-trump-un-assess-20170922-story.html

tracy.wilkinson@latimes.com

For more on international affairs, follow @TracyKWilkinson on Twitter

September 23, 2017 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

As French anti nuclear activists organise protests, police carry out violent raids

 The French state intensifies its crackdown on anti-nuclear groups https://litbyimagination.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/sept-2017-french-state-intensifies-its.html  Possible Slow Fuse,

Many people have bought the argument that nuclear energy is carbon-free, even though it isn’t, and they have accepted the promise from the nuclear industry that there will be no more nuclear catastrophes because all the “lessons have been learned” and nothing of the kind will ever, ever happen again. They say that after every nuclear mistake big or small. The public also accepts without too much inquiry that nuclear reactors could exist in this world alongside a hypothetical abolition of nuclear weapons. Enough people seem persuaded of these arguments, so a passive acceptance of nuclear energy is the norm in most countries that still depend on it.

The issue that ought to be the real deal-breaker is none of the above-mentioned objections, even though they are each, individually, sufficient to make any nation reject nuclear energy. The most serious problem with nuclear energy is that no one, since the time when nuclear power plants were first switched on, has found a way to dispose of irradiated uranium and plutonium, commonly known as “nuclear waste.”

The public has been told that it can be safely buried as soon as nuclear reactor operators find a suitable geological disposal site and a “willing host community” to take it. So far both of these conditions have not been met. Willing host communities are extremely hard to produce, and reluctant host communities have exposed the fact that no proposed disposal site can be guaranteed to be safely sealed off from the ecosystem for the thousands of years into the future.

Over the last five years I have followed the opposition that has arisen to France’s plan to bury its nuclear waste in an enormous facility in northeastern France near the town of Bure. The articles I translated previously can be found at the links at the end of this article. The translation that follows this introduction describes what is happening to opponents in September 2017 as their movement has grown and their lawsuits and legal challenges have been rejected. The state has finally decided to crack down. When a group of people decide to stand up and protect future generations, this is the thanks they get.

Events in France illustrate the serious flaws in our civilization’s approach to energy policy. Any solution that imposes destruction on a local people cannot be called the product of a democratic process. One can say that this is a majority decision, or the nation requires this sacrifice, but any such abuse of a minority is incompatible with democracy because anyone, and thus everyone, becomes susceptible to such tyranny in different times and circumstances.

Some nations are aware of this dilemma so they are content to delay indefinitely the quest for a final resting place for irradiated fuel rods. They hope to someday find the appropriate host community, but it doesn’t matter if they never succeed. As long as they talk of having this intent and pretend a solution is possible, they can continue operating their reactors. France, on the other hand, seems to have been foolish enough to take the idea of building a permanent disposal site seriously. They proceeded to build it over the objections of citizens and in spite of evidence that it would jeopardize future generations.

On Wednesday September 20, police raided several locations in Bure (Meuse region) and surrounding areas inhabited by opponents of the nuclear waste disposal project. For many of them, this operation seems to be “the main focus of police pressure that has become widespread and permanent.” Gatherings of support are being organized throughout France.

La maison de résistance in Bure, the place where opponents of CIGEO meet and organize, was raided for the first time on September 20 at about 06:15.

Bought in 2005 by French and Germn antinuclear activists from belonging to Bure Zone Libre (BZL), this old farm today welcomes activists of many kinds on a regular and permanent basis. “Raiding la maison de resistance is very symbolic. They are getting serious now,” remarks Joel, a resident of Mandres and opponent of the nuclear waste repository. Over almost ten hours, officers went through everything in the building, and seized numerous objects. Joel explained, “They didn’t have enough boxes to seal everything up properly, so they had to have more brought to them. They came with a moving truck, ready to empty the house.”

It was about 6:20 in the morning when officers started their raids at the maison de resistance, in Bure, the grounds of the station at Lumeville, and a residence in Commercy. They also went to an apartment in Mandres-en-Barrois, near Verdun. These places are occupied by people opposed to the burial of nuclear waste in Bure. Managed by ANDRA (l’Agence Nationale pour la gestion des Déchets RAdioactifs), this project was baptized as CIGEO (Centre Industriel de stockage GEologique)

The forces of public order justified their entry into the maison de resistance with a warrant from a commission of inquiry formed to investigate an attack on the hotel-restaurant of the ANDRA laboratory last June.

According to the website MVC.Camp maintained by the activists on the site, “There were forty officers, and they made their entry violently. Equipped with a crowbar, they broke the door and, it seems, some car windows.”

At the train station, about fifteen officers were present, accompanied by a prosecutor and drug-sniffing dogs. They came in with a warrant from the commission allowing a search for drugs. In Commercy, they also arrived about 6:00 and seized a computer, a hard drive and a portable phone. During this time, roadblocks were put up at Ribeaucourt and at Mandres.

“The people here are exhausted and afraid”

According to the prosecutor in Bar-le-Duc, Olivier Glady, interviewed by AFP (Agence France Presse), officers seized helmets, gas masks and fireworks, 140 grams of “packaged” cannabis resin, ten cannabis plants, as well as data and phones. They were pursuing three different investigations:

  1. The one ordered by the commission of inquiry mentioned above.
  2. Another investigation was launched after confrontations that occurred at a protest on August 15, according to Mr. Glady.
  3. Some raids were related to “infractions of drug laws,” he added.

For the organization Sortir du Nuléaire, “this raid comes after many months of permanent police harassment in the villages around Bure, with constant patrols by police cars and helicopters, and roadblocks where both protesters and farmers have to show identification.”

In a press release, the group denounced “these unacceptable methods and the escalation in this strategy of tension. It is shameful that the State chooses targeting of opponents rather than abandoning this dangerous project that imposes a danger on future generations.” The group is calling for protests throughout the country (see list below.)

A resident of Mandres, an opponent of the CIGEO project, told Reporterre, “It’s the first time we’ve seen an operation of this scale in Bure.” For him, it’s the main focus of a police pressure that is now diffuse and permanent. “Officers patrol daily in the streets and villages, filming and harassing, controlling everything in a pervasive manner. They are raising the tension in order to discourage people, making people afraid, and pushing them to the margins, but all they’re doing is motivating people to mobilize more.”

Michel Labat, another resident of Mandres told Reporterre he was revolted. “It’s incredible. So many police everywhere. Today there is no more opposition. As soon as we do something, they call in the police. Then they insult and harass us regularly. They have no respect. People here are exhausted and afraid.”

For Jean-Francois Bodenreider, a physiotherapist, a resident of Bonnet, and president of the group Habitants Vigilants de Gondrecourt said, “These raids are a way of destabilizing the struggle, a way of focusing on other things. While we are pointing out the dangers of CIGEO, they are conducting disciplinary operations, portraying opponents as druggies and criminals. This makes people stop talking about the real problems. They don’t know what to say or do to defend le nucléaire, so they talk about something else.

“They are pushing us to our limits to make us do something irreparable”

On September 17, this physiotherapist who established himself in Gondrecourt twenty-five years ago, experienced another of many provocations by police. He was in his yard when a black 4×4 stopped in front of his house. Mr. Bodenreider said, “I approached and the passenger in the front took out his phone to take some photos. He told me he was looking for houses to buy in the area. I asked him to leave because our house is not for sale, then his tone changed. Suddenly, one of the passengers shouted, ‘Go! He has a hammer!’” Mr. Bodenreider’s son, Leonard, a medical student, was in the garage gathering supplies for a camping trip. “Out of fear for his father, and in anger” he threw a rubber hammer toward the vehicle. Then the family was shocked to see the passengers in the 4×4 identify themselves as police officers. They handcuffed Leonard and took him away. The spouses of father and son went to the police station in Gondrecourt and waited patiently until they were finally listened to as witnesses. Mr. Bodenreider recounted, “The officers were talking about attempted manslaughter charges, but some local officers who knew us were there and they defused the situation, and they finally got our son released that evening.”

Leonard will have to appear in court on charges of destruction of property because the hammer slightly struck the vehicle.

“After the incident, I told myself that if I reacted like that it was because I was irritated,” said the physiotherapist. I don’t live under daily pressure, not like the residents of Mandres who are patrolled eight times a day. But this pressure exerted by police patrols affects all of us.” He describes himself as “moderate” in the struggle, but he is sure of one thing: “They are pushing us so that we’ll do something irreparable.”

“Once you are identified as an opponent, you are presumed to be guilty”

Joel, an opponent of the CIGEO project, recently relived the experience of his house arrest during the COP21 summit: “At 6 AM, ten officers came to the door of the friend I was staying with in Commercy. They went through everything for the next hour. One of them had a Taser gun. They left with papers, my computer, and my phone. As a bonus question, the forces of public order asked before leaving, “Do you have anything else to declare regarding Bure?”

As in the other locations that were raided, one of which was Joel’s apartment in Mandres, officers indicated that they were investigating the attack on the hotel-restaurant of the ANDRA laboratory. One catch: Joel was on vacation in Greece at the time. He adds indignantly, “Once you are identified as an opponent, in my case since the COP21, you’re a target and presumed guilty.”

For Joel, this is all proof that the operations this Wednesday were not aimed solely at finding who is responsible for the acts committed this summer. He observes, “They are creating permanent tension in order to break people.”

List of protest events being organized by Sortir du Nucleaire this Wednesday:

Paris à 18h, appel à rassemblement au marché aux fleurs, métro Cité, à 18h. En solidarité également avec les camarades en procès de la voiture brûlée.

devant la Préfecture de Bar-le-Duc à 17h30

Nantes, rdv 18h à Commerce dans le cadre du Front social.

Grenoble, 17h30, au pied de la tour Perret, parc Paul Mistral, par le comité local de soutien contre les GPII.

Nancy place Stanislas à 18h.

Angers, 18h, devant la Préfecture d’Angers.

Épinal, 18h, devant la Préfecture.

Colmar, 18h, devant la Préfecture, Champ-de-Mars.

Dijon, 18h, devant la Préfecture. Événement ici.

Rassemblement en cours d’organisation en Alsace, on vous tient au courant dès que possible.

Rassemblement en cours d’organisation à Reims, idem.

Une conférence de presse commune du mouvement de résistance se tiendra jeudi 21 septembre à 11h à la Maison de résistance à la poubelle nucléaire, à Bure.

More articles about Bure, CIGEO and French nuclear history:

Nuclear Waste Project Hungry for Land

French court: NGOs have no right to challenge nuclear “public authorities”

France’s Bure Nuclear Waste Site on Trial

The Inconvenience of a Geothermic Energy Source Under France’s Nuke Waste Dump

L’état, c’est MOX

Superphénix (some history of the French anti-nuclear movement)     Very valuable information for the anglophone world.  We are constantly being told of how popular and successful is the nuclear industry in France. This is a timely counter to the pro nuclear English language propaganda

September 23, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Trump at UN negotiates big weapons sales to South Korea

Hankyoreh Sep.22,2017  The deal is reportedly set to include nuclear powered submarines

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump agreed on Sept. 21 on a plan for South Korea to introduce state-of-the-art US weaponry or develop its own to counter North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile provocations. Later the same day, Moon had a luncheon and trilateral summit with Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where the three agreed that the entire international community “must apply the maximum intensity sanctions and pressure so that North Korea cannot withstand it anymore and must come to the table for dialogue.” ……http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/812155.html

September 23, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump and Kim trade insults about insanity

North Korea: Trump and Kim call each other mad, BBC, 22 September 2017 

Kim Jong-un has said remarks by “deranged” US President Donald Trump have convinced him he is right to develop weapons for North Korea.

In an unprecedented personal statement, Mr Kim said Mr Trump would “pay dearly” for a UN speech where he threatened to “totally destroy” the North if the US was forced to defend itself.

Mr Trump responded that the “madman… will be tested like never before”.

The two countries have engaged in ever more heated rhetoric in recent months.

Mr Kim ended his statement by saying he would “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.

China responded to the war of words, warning that the situation was “complicated and sensitive”.

“All relevant parties should exercise restraint instead of provoking each other,” said Foreign Minister spokesman Lu Kang.

Russia also urged restraint, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov describing the rhetoric between the two leaders as a “kindergarten fight between children”……http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41356836

     

    September 23, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

    Nuclear lobby pins its hopes on China to develop costly and dubious Generation IV nuclear reactors

    the theories behind many of the proposed systems aren’t new and often date back to the 1950s and ’60s. Some experimental plants have been built, such as the fast breeder reactors in the U.K. and U.S. Most suffered from crippling cost or design problems or were abandoned after nuclear accidents.

    “Most if not all of these so-called advanced reactor designs have been around for decades,”

    Different designs have different problems. I don’t think anyone can be or should be confident that these problems can be resolved merely by throwing money and hiring engineers and scientists.”

    Nuclear Experts Head to China to Test Experimental Reactors, Bloomberg By 

    Stephen Stapczynski China is becoming the testing ground for a new breed of nuclear power stations designed to be safer and cheaper, as scientists from the U.S. and other Western nations find it difficult to raise enough money to build experimental plants at home.
     China National Nuclear Power Co. this month announced a joint venture to build and operate a “traveling wave reactor” in Hebei province, designed by Bellevue, Washington-based TerraPower LLC, whose chairman is Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. The development follows Canada’s SNC-Lavalin, which has agreed to build a new recycled-fuel plant with China National Nuclear Corp. and Shanghai Electric Group, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is working with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics on a salt-cooled system……..

    “The outlook for nuclear power is brighter there than anywhere else in the world,” said M. V. Ramana, a professor at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. “It is not so difficult for a company developing a nuclear reactor design to find a partner.”

    The systems proposed belong to the so-called fourth generation of reactors. The current generation under construction include enhanced safety features following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, but still typically use traditional fuel rods, cooled by water under pressure. Both Areva SA and Westinghouse Electric Co. are slated to turn on their current-generation nuclear reactors in the next year in China — well ahead of any other nation, despite delays.

    Recycled Fuel

    Some Generation IV designs aim to cut construction costs by using coolants that work at atmospheric pressure — reducing the need for massive containment structures. Many recycle their fuel, reducing the need for uranium, and in some cases are fail-safe without intervention if something goes wrong…….

    Coolants include liquid sodium, gases and molten metal. Some use thorium instead of uranium to power the reaction.

    Still, the theories behind many of the proposed systems aren’t new and often date back to the 1950s and ’60s. Some experimental plants have been built, such as the fast breeder reactors in the U.K. and U.S. Most suffered from crippling cost or design problems or were abandoned after nuclear accidents.

    “Most if not all of these so-called advanced reactor designs have been around for decades,” said Ramana at the Liu Institute. “Different designs have different problems. I don’t think anyone can be or should be confident that these problems can be resolved merely by throwing money and hiring engineers and scientists.”

    Computer Models

    TerraPower’s traveling-wave design is based on research by Saveli Feinberg, a physicist who first proposed it in the 1950s. Levesque says that advancements in computing in the last decade have revolutionized the ability to develop these technologies. “You couldn’t get it near the concept without the computer modeling,” he said.

    Yet computers alone won’t prove the technology without a working plant.

    “What they really need is to construct research reactors,” said Allison Macfarlane, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “And that is really expensive.”………

    Areva is not currently working with Chinese teams to develop a fourth generation reactor, spokesman Mathias Schuch said in an email. Westinghouse didn’t respond to requests for comment on next-generation reactors………

    “Nuclear can be a difficult industry and it needs to be heavily regulated,” Macfarlane said. “You can make rather a big expensive mess if you don’t get it right. Only one accident will seriously affect the entire industry. There are very few industries like that.”

    Developers say the industry is over-regulated. Michael F. Keller, president of Hybrid Power Technologies LLC said the NRC is a “bureaucratic straight jacket” that creates a massive financial burden on the deployment of advanced reactors. “As advanced reactors are generally passively fail-safe, there is no rational reason to apply the grossly overly-complex regulations currently in use,” he said.

    The DOE said in a email that it is promoting development of a framework that will increase regulatory certainty for advanced reactors in coordination with the NRC and industry………https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/nuclear-scientists-head-to-china-to-test-experimental-reactors

    September 23, 2017 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment