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Tokyo’s Tap Water Contaminated

Via Kaye Nagamine

A Japanese local magazine gives the list of prefectures where Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 have been detected in their tap water !

The left column gives the name of the prefecture. The central column gives the Cesium 134 detected and the right column the Cesium 137 : in white with three Chinese characters reads “not detected” while in black the white figures indicates the level of bq detected.

The third line from the bottom is Tokyo. Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 have both been detected in its tap water at high levels!

21192386_1693765007302408_58677285178127261_n.jpg

Source: https://jisin.jp/serial/%E7%A4%BE%E4%BC%9A%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9D%E3%83%BC%E3%83%84/disaster/26165

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September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear and climate news to 2nd September

Climate change remains the greatest global threat – because it is getting close to irreversible. But the nuclear threat is pretty big too. This month, nations can ratify the UN  treaty on the prohibition of nuclear . It is not too late for more countries to join the treaty. It will be open for signatures from any UN member state on 20 September during the annual general assembly.

The North Korean nuclear crisis doesn’t go away.  North Korea’s missile development continues, as USA intensifies its war games on North Korea’s doorstep. One small slip-up could bring nuclear catastrophe.

Floods continue, affecting at least 41 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.  In America, the Houston flood introduces the age of climate chaos for the “developed”world.

Nobel Prize winners proclaim the gravest threats to humanity as ‘Donald Trump, nuclear war and climate change’   The connection between cyclones and climate change.

Nearing a Trillion Watts: By End 2017, Global Wind + Solar Capacity Will be 2.4 Times That of Nuclear.

Dr Jim Green debunks the hype about Generation IV new nukes.

USA. Nuclear    Trump – “all options on the table“, after North Korea’s missile test, flying over Japan.  Most Americans would be fine with dropping a nuclear weapon on an Iranian city  America’s Military Now Run by Military Industrial Complex Lobbyists? Trump spending up big on nuclear weapons– House Armed Services Committee member accuses Trump of rushing nuclear contracts. America’s new fuze nuclear weapons system threatens world stability.

Potential for nuclear disaster at South Texas’ nuclear reactors. Nuclear workers sticking to their posts at South Texas Nuclear Reactors.

Duke Energy Florida is just the latest utility to walk away from nuclear, – and towards solar.

USA Climate USA government to abolish climate change envoy. Donald Trump nominates a vocal climate denier, non scientist Sam Clovis as Chief Scientist. USA coastal properties to lose value because of climate change? Texas Wind Turbines Produce More Electricity Than Its 4 Nuclear Reactors

NORTH KOREA. North Korea Fires 3 Missiles Over Japan As Northern Viper Exercise Ends. Media ignores North Korea’s offers to negotiate, give up nuclear weapons.  North Korea ramps up the sabre rattling.

AFGHANISTAN. In Afghanistan, climate change is as big a threat as terrorism.

JAPANDeath of Sumiteru Taniguchi, Nagasaki Survivor and Nuclear Arms Foe.  Water plan to remove Fukushima fuel is ‘not viable’ .

UK. UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) upgrading Trident nuclear warhead to make it even more destructive. Doctors and scientists call on the government to join the international nuclear weapons ban treaty.   A WW2 unexploded bomb found near to Hinkley nuclear station – for the 3rd time!  A historic chimney is set for demolition at Sellafield.  Climate change threats to Scotland.

IRAN. Iran Complies With Nuclear Deal says UN monitor, contradicting Trump. U.N. nuclear watchdog sees no need to check Iran military sites.

GERMANY. Iodine tablets for German communities near Belgian nuclear reactor.

RUSSIA. Russia marketing nuclear power to Bangladesh – will take back the wastes.

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Debris to be removed from side of Fukushima reactors

_w850.jpgWorkers wearing protective suits and masks work on the No. 2 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

 

TOKYO – A state-backed entity tasked with supporting the decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear power station proposed Thursday that melted fuel be removed from the side of three of the crippled reactors as part of the process to scrap the complex.

Based on a formal proposal, the government and the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO) will determine specific approaches to carry out the process on each reactor next month and update the plant decommissioning road map.

Under its strategic plan for 2017, the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp called for the removal of the fuel by partially filling the three reactors with water to cover some of the nuclear debris while allowing access to carry out the work.

The entity also pointed out that the decommissioning work requires phased efforts while maintaining flexibility, as the project still faces many uncertainties.

The extraction work from the Nos. 1-3 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which suffered meltdowns following the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, is seen as the most difficult step toward the ultimate goal of decommissioning the entire complex, set to take at least 30 to 40 years to complete.

The government and TEPCO are currently aiming to start the extraction work from 2021.

Under the plan, the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation body proposed using a remotely controlled apparatus to shave debris from the underside of the lower section of the reactors’ containment vessel while controlling the level of water.

Debris remains not only in the reactors’ pressure vessel but also piled and scattered at the bottom of the containment vessel that houses the reactor vessel.

As for debris left in the reactors’ pressure vessel, the entity will consider removing it from the upper part of the reactors, it said.

The decommissioning body had previously considered a strategy to fill the containment vessel with water as water is effective in containing radiation, but it has shelved the idea as the reactor containers are believed to have been damaged and would leak.

Following a magnitude-9.0 earthquake in March 2011, tsunami 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 three reactors suffered fuel meltdowns, while hydrogen explosions damaged the buildings housing the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 reactors.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation entity was established after the Fukushima crisis, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, to help the utility pay damages. The state-backed entity holds a majority stake in the operator.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/Debris-to-be-removed-from-side-of-Fukushima-reactors

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Current Fukushima Kids Situation

 

Via Kaye Nagamine

I’ve heard that the video reveals the information that has never been disclosed before and it’s ONE and ONLY video that documented the true reality of the current Fukushima kids situation presented by a Japanese medical scientist in an academic conference internationally.

Mr. Suzuki, the lecturer in this video, is the one who have operated 125 child thyroid cancer patients in Fukushima. He had been trying to voice the plight situation but he was muted by some political intention.

Here’s the story I’ve heard: He has been verbally and attacked and insulted by Mr. Shibuya of Fukushima Health Committee during its committee assembly, and his false accusation made Mr. Suzuki leave his position of committee member. The conscientious one always has to leave.

I don’t get it. Shibuya malevolently accused Mr. Shuzuki that the doctor must have even operated the case of trifling and unnecessary cases, padding the number of operations and disguising the figures LARGE and GRAVE.

Mr. Sukuzki, with his shaky voice in anger, insisted that serious cases of metastasis to lymph and lung as well as deeper infiltration were seen in the children under the surgery, but his voice was spurned by Shibuya and his friends in the committee. … so this video is probably the only one official evidence Dr. Suzuki left.

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Elimination of Fukushima evacuees from list slammed

Screenshot from 2017-09-02 09-25-42.pngThis woman in her 30s lives in Tokyo with her young children after fleeing her home in Fukushima Prefecture following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Her husband remains in Fukushima Prefecture for his job.

 

The central government has made a large number of people who voluntarily fled the Fukushima area after the 2011 nuclear disaster disappear by cutting them from official lists of evacuees.

Critics are now condemning the move, which went into effect last April, saying it prevents government officials from fully grasping the picture of all who remain displaced to evaluate their future needs.

Accurate data on Fukushima evacuees is essential in gaining a better understanding of their current circumstances and crafting measures to address their problems,” said Shun Harada, a sociology researcher at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, who contributes as an editor for an information publication for evacuees living in Saitama Prefecture.

When only smaller than the real numbers are made available, difficulties facing evacuees could be underestimated and could result in terminating support programs for them,” he complained.

As of July, 89,751 evacuees were living across Japan after fleeing from the nuclear disaster, down by 29,412 from the March tally.

In April, the central government opted to cut “voluntary” evacuees who fled their homes due to fears of radiation despite being from outside the evacuation zone.

It came after the official program to provide free housing to the voluntary evacuees was stopped at the end of March, which was designed to facilitate a prompt return to their hometowns in Fukushima Prefecture. People from the evacuation zone are still eligible to the free housing program.

The central government’s Reconstruction Agency, set up to oversee rebuilding efforts in Japan’s northeastern region after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, releases the number of evacuees each month, based on figures compiled by local authorities.

The 29,412 drop in the number of official evacuees between March and July includes 15,709 in Fukushima Prefecture, 6,873 in Miyagi Prefecture, 2,798 in Iwate Prefecture, 780 in Tokyo, 772 in Kanagawa Prefecture and 577 in Saitama Prefecture.

Before the change in housing policy, agency statistics showed a monthly decrease in evacuee numbers of between 3,000 and 4,000 in the several months leading up to the end of March.

But the drop in numbers increased dramatically to 9,493 between March and April and 12,412 between April and May.

Kanagawa and Saitama prefectural officials say voluntary evacuees were responsible for most of the declines in their jurisdictions.

A large number of them are believed to be living in the same housing as before but are now paying their own rent.

A 43-year-old woman who has been evacuating in Saitama Prefecture since fleeing from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with three other family members said she is angered by the central government’s treatment.

We cannot return to Fukushima Prefecture due to fears of the effects of radiation,” she said. “I feel like I have been abandoned by the state by being denied evacuee status.”

An official with the Tokyo-based Japan Civil Network for Disaster Relief in East Japan, a private entity that functions as a liaison unit for a nationwide network of groups supporting victims of the disaster six years ago stressed the need for local authorities to have an accurate understanding of the circumstances surrounding evacuees.

Of the evacuees, the elderly and single-parent households tend to be left in isolation and many of them are likely to become qualified to receive public assistance in the near future,” the official said. “Local officials need to know they are evacuees (from Fukushima).”

The official added that it will become difficult for support groups to extend their help if voluntary evacuees are taken out of the official tally.

But the Reconstruction Agency said it will not reconsider the definition of evacuees.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708280053.html

 

 

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Muscle robots’ being developed to remove debris from Fukushima reactors

Hitachi-GE testing variety of simply structured, radiation-resistant equipment

20170818_Fukushima-reactor_article_main_image.jpgThe Unit 1 reactor building at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, June 21, 2017.

 

TOKYO — A joint venture between Japanese and American high-technology power houses Hitachi and General Electric is developing special robots for removing nuclear debris from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the most difficult task in decommissioning the plant’s six reactors, three of which suffered core meltdowns in the March 2011 accident.

The machines under development by Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy are called “muscle robots,” as their hydraulic springs operate like human muscles. The company, based in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, is stepping up efforts to complete the development project in time for the start of debris removal in 2021.

Hitachi-GE is testing the arms of the robots at a plant of Chugai Technos, a Hiroshima-based engineering service company, located a 30-minute drive from the center of the city. The testing is taking place in a structure with a life-size model of the primary containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima plant. The robots awkwardly move about, picking up concrete lumps standing in for fuel debris.

“The robots are based on a concept completely different from those of conventional robots,” said Koichi Kurosawa, a senior Hitachi-GE engineer heading the development project. Hydraulics are being used because electronics cannot survive in the extreme environment inside the reactors.

“Asked if the robots are applicable to other nuclear power plants, I would say the possibility is low,” Kurosawa said, noting that the robots are designed to work amid intense radiation.

New challenges

While Hitachi-GE has built many nuclear reactors, it is encountering a variety of new challenges in developing the muscle robots simply because of the tough work required to retrieve fuel debris.

In the nuclear accident caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, cooling the fuel rods became impossible, and melted uranium fuel dropped from them. Some of the fuel broke through nuclear reactor pressure vessels and solidified as fuel debris containing uranium and plutonium.

The debris is estimated to weigh more than 800 tons in total. The insides of the PCVs at the Fukushima plant are directly exposed to the debris and are emitting radioactivity strong enough to kill a human within a few minutes.

20170818DebrisDia_large_580.png

 

The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a Tokyo-based research institute for decommissioning nuclear plants, and three reactor makers — Hitachi-GE, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries — have been attempting to ascertain conditions inside the reactor buildings at the Fukushima plant by means of camera- and dosimeter-equipped equipment.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Science/Muscle-robots-being-developed-to-remove-debris-from-Fukushima-reactors

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

As USA and South Korea run mock bombing drill, Putin warns on futility of pressuring North Korea

Putin says putting pressure on North Korea is a ‘dead-end road’, By James Griffiths, CNN , 1 Sept 17 

September 2, 2017 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Now comes the hard question for Texas and Louisiana – should communities move from flood prone areas?

This is a long article , but very good, and well worth reading in its entirety

 

‘It’s Not Going To Be All Right’  In flood-prone coastal Louisiana, towns have started to ask a question Texans may face soon: When should we all just leave?  Politico By ANNIE SNIDER, September 01, 2017 HOUMA, La. — If Houston gets serious about preventing massive damage the next time it floods, it may need to learn a lesson from its neighbors in this oil and gas town, just 15 miles up the road from Louisiana’s historic bayou communities.

This town’s residents—roughnecks, shrimpers, shipbuilders and small-business owners—aren’t typically the joining type. And yet dozens have recently begun showing up for an unusual discussion group underwritten by the state and federal government, and dedicated to a question very difficult to grapple with: What happens when the next hurricane hits, sending bayous rising and inundating the most flood-prone homes, and people start moving here?

Permanently relocating people is the third rail of disaster planning, the aspect no one—especially politicians—wants to talk about. Local zoning and development decisions have encouraged millions of people to move into floodplains, and federal insurance policies and disaster aid have bailed them out time and again. But as these storms become increasingly costly, and climate change promises to make them more so, it becomes harder to avoid the bigger topic: There are places where people simply shouldn’t live anymore.

Relocation is politically toxic; handled centrally, it is disruptive and interventionist, the kind of move that foments revolutions. But as the state of Louisiana mounts a massive battle against the rising tide, planning and funding ambitious efforts to restore buffering wetlands and build levees and floodgates, it is also beginning to acknowledge to residents that even their best efforts will not be enough—and is asking them to think about what comes next.

With the help of $92.6 million in federal grant money, Louisiana’s Office of Community Development has launched a first-of-its-kind effort to help communities across the state prepare for the tumult to come. Rising waters and escalating flood insurance rates will drive thousands of families farther inland, the state predicts, leaving behind homes they’ve known for generations and places that have fundamentally shaped their identities. But those refugees aren’t the only ones who will experience change. Communities like Houma will experience their own jarring transition as they receive an influx of waterlogged neighbors. Houma sits high enough that it’s less likely to drown in a hurricane, and thanks to its industrial base, could more easily win additional levees and flood protection.

Top: The old Boudreaux Canal School, which has closed since the population of Chauvin has steadily dropped. Bottom: The cemetery at St Joseph Catholic Church, north of Chauvin along Bayou Petit Caillou. | William Widmer for Politico Magazine

“This is the first time that I can remember that a group came in and said it’s not going to be all right,” said Jonathan Foret………

The goal of the new planning effort, dubbed Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, or LA Safe, is to head off the worst-case scenario in which people move out of flood-prone areas only once they’ve lost everything, and arrive en masse in communities that aren’t ready to absorb them. It’s a scenario with precedent: After Hurricane Katrina, entire neighborhoods from south and east of New Orleans relocated to the affluent bedroom communities of Covington and Mandeville, north of Lake Pontchartrain, straining schools, clogging roads and leading to resentment among some longtime residents. As far away as Houston, residents complained about “Katrina refugees” sapping local resources…….. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/01/harvey-texas-louisiana-floods-relocation-215565?lo=ap_a1

September 2, 2017 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s war planning advisors – billionaire private military contractors !

White House Hires Billionaire War Profiteers To Aid In War Planning, Mint Press News, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and billionaire Stephen Feinberg reportedly “recruited” for war planning, by Jake Johnson July 11th, 2017[good tweets included on original]  

Two of President Donald Trump’s closest aides have reportedly solicited advice from two wealthy private military contractors — Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire owner of DynCorp International—on how to proceed with the sixteen-year-long war in Afghanistan.

September 2, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Monster Hurricane Irma in Atlantic Ocean – headed for the Caribbean

Irma Turning Into Monster Hurricane: “Highest Windspeed Forecasts I’ve Ever Seen” NWO Report, September 1, 2017  

 Hurricane Irma continues to strengthen much faster than pretty much any computer model predicted as of yesterday or even this morning.  Per the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest update, Irma is currently a Cat-3 storm with sustained winds of 115 mph but is expected to strengthen to a devastating Cat-5 with winds that could top out at 180 mph or more.  Here is the latest from the NHC as of 5PM EST:

Irma has become an impressive hurricane with intense eyewall convection surrounding a small eye.  Satellite estimates continue to rapidly rise, and the Dvorak classifications from both TAFB & SAB support an initial wind speed of 100 kt.  This is a remarkable 50-kt increase from yesterday at this time.

Irma continues moving west-northwestward, now at about 10 kt. There has been no change to the forecast philosophy, with the hurricane likely to turn westward and west-southwestward over the next few days due to a building ridge over the central Atlantic.  At long range, however, model guidance is not in good agreement on the strength of the ridge, resulting in some significant north-south differences in the global models……..

As of now, Irma remains in the far eastern Atlantic ocean and is moving west at roughly 11.5 mph.  Based on current projections, the storm will make its first landfall in the eastern Caribbean sometime toward the middle of next week.

Longer term computer models still vary widely but suggest that Irma will make landfall in the U.S. either in the Gulf of Mexico or Florida.  Meteorological Scientist Michael Ventrice of the Weather Channel is forecasting windspeeds of up to 180 mph, which he described as the “highest windspeed forecasts I’ve ever seen in my 10 yrs of Atlantic hurricane forecasting.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS……..

Longer term computer models still vary widely but suggest that Irma will make landfall in the U.S. either in the Gulf of Mexico or Florida.  Meteorological Scientist Michael Ventrice of the Weather Channel is forecasting windspeeds of up to 180 mph, which he described as the “highest windspeed forecasts I’ve ever seen in my 10 yrs of Atlantic hurricane forecasting.”….

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel has the “most likely” path of Irma passing directly over Antigua, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic toward the middle of next week. https://nworeport.me/2017/09/01/irma-turning-into-monster-hurricane-highest-windspeed-forecasts-ive-ever-seen/

September 2, 2017 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Arizona refuses irradiated fuel rods from SanOnofre: danger to communities in Southern California and the SouthWestern United States

ARIZONA REFUSES SPENT FUEL FROM SAN ONOFRE; DOCTOR’S GROUP CRITICIZES NUCLEAR WASTE SETTLEMENT PLAN, East County Magazine August 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Finding a safe place to store spent nuclear fuel from the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations is a daunting task. Yesterday, East County Magazine reported on a settlement reached between Citizens Oversight and Southern California Edison that aspires to move the radioactive waste away from the beach at San Onofre over the next couple of decades.

One of the proposed sites   is in Arizona. But now officials at Arizona Public Services Company, which operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix,  say they won’t take California’s nuclear wastes.

Such a move would require approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, APS says, but APS won’t be asking for that approval to store fuel from a reactor that’s not their own, AZ Central reports.…..

The settlement’s goal is to reduce the risk of a nuclear catastrophe in densely populated California by eliminating nuclear waste storage  just 100 feet or so from  corrosive sea water in an area at high risk of earthquake and in a tsunami risk zone as well.

But late yesterday,  Physicians  for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles warned that the settlement deal  “may dramatically increase health and security risks for communities in Southern California and the SouthWestern United States.”

The physicians group concludes that moving the radioactive fuel to a temporary and then permanent storage facility increases risks of a catastrophe through an accident or terrorist attack which could be “devastating,” said Denise Duffield, associate director of the organization.

The group agrees that Southern California Edison’s plan to bury waste on the beach is “inappropriate” given the risk of rising sea levels and the “daunting task of protecting it from terrorist attack in such an accessible location.”

Simply transferring such risk to people in other states is not the best solution, the doctors’ group argues, while noting that U.S. nuclear waste policy has been “broken for decades.”

Yucca Mountain in Nevada, long touted as a possible nuclear waste repository, has been found to be unsuitable due to water penetration that could lead to contamination of water supplies.  Two other potential sites mentioned by the physicians’ group have been a “low level” radioactive waste site in Texas and another in new Mexico near the Waste Isolation Pilot Project that recently failed dramatically with an underground explosion and fire that “resulted in plutonium being released into the atmosphere,” the  press release from the physicians’ group states.

The only “reasonable alternative” in the view of Physicians for Social Responsibility, would be an option also on the list proposed by Citizens Oversight.  That option would be to move the nuclear waste to an inland location on Camp Pendleton where it would be safe from sea level rise, away from public access, and easier to protect against terrorism.

The settlement  stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Citizens Oversight against the California Coastal Commission over its approval of a permit to store the dangerous wastes in underground containers near the shoreline at San Onofre.

Under the settlement, a plan must be established by 2035 including use of top experts in spent nuclear fuel transportation, nuclear engineering, spent fuel siting and  licensing, radiation detective and monitoring to advise  on proposed relocation.  The deal also requires regular reporting and oversight.

There is no guarantee the waste will ultimately be moved, however, if no location can be found that is acceptable from environmental and health standpoints, as well as economic feasibility, transportation concerns, and regulatory approval….. https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/arizona-refuses-spent-fuel-san-onofre-doctor%E2%80%99s-group-criticizes-nuclear-waste-settlement-plan

September 2, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes | 1 Comment

Tactical nuclear weapons for South Korea: U.S. and South Korean defense leaders considering this

The subject was said broached during the first day of SK Defense Minister’s visit to US

The South Korean and US defense leaders discussed the issue of deploying tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula during their meeting on Aug. 30, according to sources.

This marks the first official confirmation of discussions on the tactical nuclear weapon issue between top-level South Korean and US government figures. Critics are calling the discussions a hasty move that could fuel political controversy and confuse the issue of Seoul’s stated opposition to tactical nuclear weapons.

South Korean Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo met with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Pentagon on Aug. 30 and broached the tactical nuclear weapon deployment issue during discussions on amending the South Korea-US missile guidelines, a senior government official reported.

The official remained quiet on the details, saying only that “the tactical nuclear weapon deployment issue was discussed, but it wasn’t anything specific.”

The redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons has become a heated political issue, with conservative parties strongly calling for it as a response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations. It’s also an incendiary issue with bearing on the peninsula’s denuclearization………

Song arrived in the US for a five-day visit on Aug. 29.

By Park Byong-su, senior staff writer and Kim Ji-eun, staff reporterhttp://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/809296.html

September 2, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Humanity’s four most important food crops already affected by climate change

Climate Change Already Impacting Wheat, Rice, Corn, Soybean Yields Worldwide,  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/09/01/climate-change-already-impacting-wheat-rice-corn-soybean-yields-worldwide/#6a3501b3777b  ,  

Increased temperatures from climate change will reduce yields of the four crops humans depend on most—wheat, rice, corn and soybeans—and the losses have already begun, according to a new meta-study by an international team of researchers.

Humans depend for two thirds of their calories on these four staple crops, but yields of wheat are expected to decrease by 6%, rice by 3.2%, maize by 7.4%, and soybean by 3.1%.

“By combining four different methods, our comprehensive assessment of the impacts of increasing temperatures on major global crops shows substantial risks for agricultural production, already stagnating in some parts of the world,” the scientists say in the study, which appears in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Yield increase has slowed down or even stagnated during the last years in some parts of the world, and further increases in temperature will continue to suppress yields, despite farmers’ adaptation efforts.” The study, led by Chuang Zhao of Peking University, cites three other studies documenting declines in crop yields in Europe, Africa, India, China, Central and South America and other regions.

The study of studies was conducted by scientists in China, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, The Philippines, and the United States, including the University of Florida, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University in New York. They hoped to settle a question that seemed to have produced conflicting results in the many studies they reviewed: what are the effects on crop yields of temperature increases from anthropogenic climate change?

 The study rebuts an argument made by those who argue against mitigating climate change because they say higher CO2 concentrations will increase crop yields. That argument, the scientists say, fails to account for higher temperatures:

“While elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration can stimulate growth when nutrients are not limited, it will also increase canopy temperature from more closed stomata,” the scientists say. The stomata are the pores plants use to exchange gases and moisture with the atmosphere. When plants close stomata because of higher temperatures they may conserve water but lose the ability to absorb CO2.

Higher temperatures can also increase atmospheric absorption of water in the plants and in the soil, provoke heat waves and stimulate pests and weeds.

The study anticipates that crop yields will improve in some areas because higher temperatures will lengthen the growing season, but it finds net losses worldwide.

The scientists acknowledge uncertainty about the interactions between temperature, rainfall and increased CO2 concentrations in different regions. They note that different crops respond differently in different regions and under different conditions, so they call for increased local analysis and local strategies:

“Differences in temperature responses of crops around the world suggest that some mitigation could be possible to substantially affect the magnitude (or even direction) of climate change impacts on agriculture. These impacts will also vary substantially for crops and regions, and may interact with changes in precipitation and atmospheric CO2, so a reinvigoration of national research and extension programs is urgently needed to offset future impacts of climate change, including temperature increase on agriculture by using crop- and region-specific adaptation strategies.”

By Jeff McMahon, based in Chicago. Follow Jeff McMahon on FacebookGoogle PlusTwitter, or email him here.

September 2, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

France urges dialogue with North Korea

NORTH KOREA MISSILES COULD HIT U.S., EUROPE ‘WITHIN MONTHS’ IN NUCLEAR STRIKE, FRANCE SAYS, NewsWeek, BY JOSH LOWE ON 9/1/17 North Korea could have the ability to strike the U.S. and Europe with nuclear weapons within months, France’s foreign minister has warned.

Jean-Yves le Drian, in charge of foreign affairs in President Emmanuel Macron’s government, said that following a string of missile tests by Pyongyang and increasingly bellicose rhetoric, “We see a North Korea whose objective is to have missiles capable of transporting a nuclear weapon tomorrow,” according to Agence France-Presse.

The situation, le Drian said, is “extremely serious.” He urged North Korea to open new dialogue with other states in an attempt to defuse tensions and prevent nuclear conflict…..

China and Russia have both urged calm from all sides and suggested that U.S. military drills in the region may be provoking North Korea. The two countries have proposed that diplomatic talks resume, while missile tests in North Korea and joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea both be put on pause.

The U.N. Security Council has denounced Pyongyang’s latest tests and called for an end to its missile program.

Macron has previously warned against an “escalation” of tensions between the rogue state and its opponents.

In a statement, Macron expressed “concern at the ballistic and nuclear threat coming from North Korea,” saying the international community had to try to get Pyongyang to “resume the path of dialogue without conditions.” http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-missiles-strike-us-europe-france-months-658311

September 2, 2017 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

China rethinks nuclear plant on North Korea’s border – has set up solar farm instead

Solar farm may spell end for China’s plan to build nuclear plant on North Korea’s border
Renewable development on site earmarked for reactors raises speculation the authorities have gone cold on the idea,
SCMP,  Stephen Chen Thursday, 31 August, 2017 China has set up a solar farm near the North Korean border on a site previously earmarked for a nuclear power plant, in an apparent sign that the authorities have abandoned plans to build a reactor.

The Baishan solar farm in Jingyu county, Jilin province was recently connected to the local power grid after a three-month construction period plagued with problems.

A farmer living near Baishan reservoir said solar panels had been put up over the past few months and now covered half of a large swathe of elevated land by the lake’s west bank.

The solar plant can generate up to 10 megawatts of power, provincial newspaper Jilin Daily reported in July…….

Authorities had earlier acquired the area south of Gangding village, which was once used for cultivating corn and beans, to build the Jingyu nuclear power station, according to the county government website.

The planned power plant was one of two Chinese nuclear projects proposed near the North Korean border.

Ground-clearing work on the site, meant to house four AP1000 nuclear reactors, was completed in 2013.

The reactors, if built, would have been situated less than 100km north of Chunggang, a North Korean county bordering China across the Yalu river.

Chunggang is home to an intermediate-range ballistic missile base targeting the US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, according to globalsecurity.org.

In the border city of Dandong in Liaoning province, construction of the Donggang nuclear power plant has also been put on hold, according to Chinese media reports……..http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2109018/solar-farm-may-spell-end-chinas-plan-build-nuclear-plant-north

September 2, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment