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NRA has nuke plant volcano checklist, but experts point to eruptions’ unpredictability

dec 14 2017 buclear plants & major calderas and volcanoes.jpg
When it comes to volcanic threats to nuclear power stations, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) requires utilities to do a lot of digging.
The NRA demands that utilities evaluate the potential risks presented by any volcanoes within 160 kilometers of a given plant. That evaluation begins with a look through the written record for any mentions of eruptions plus examining the geological features of the area to determine if there is any chance the volcano will be active again in the future. If a future eruption can’t be ruled out, then the utility must determine whether pyroclastic flows — fast moving clouds of hot gas and volcanic matter — or lava flows could reach the plant. If there is such a risk, then the plant site is labeled unsuitable and the reactors banned from going on line.
In the case of the Sendai nuclear plant’s No. 1 and 2 reactors, it was found that there were five volcanoes with histories of cataclysmic eruptions within the 160-kilometer zone. A “cataclysmic eruption” is one that spews vast amounts of magma, causing large-scale ground subsidence and creating a caldera.
NRA inspectors found that there was “sufficiently little chance” of a cataclysmic eruption that could cause a pyroclastic flow to hit the Sendai plant grounds while the station was in operation. Furthermore, the regulatory body determined that measures to deal with up to 15 centimeters of volcanic ash from the Sakurajima volcano — about 50 kilometers distant — would be enough to maintain plant safety.
The NRA also called on utilities to make preparations to shut down reactors and move the nuclear fuel out of their nuclear plants if there was any sign of an impending cataclysmic eruption detected. Sendai plant operator Kyushu Electric Power Co. assured the NRA that the utility would spot signs of such an eruption by keeping a close watch out for changes in the Earth’s crust caused by magma accumulation, and the regulator accepted this explanation.
However, some volcanologists have pointed out that it is very difficult to predict the timing or scale of a cataclysmic eruption. Furthermore, there is neither a predetermined spot to move the nuclear fuel to nor a set standard for the NRA to order reactor shutdowns.
Across Japan, the Genkai nuclear station’s No. 3 and 4 reactors (which have passed NRA safety inspections ahead of a planned restart), the No. 1 to 3 reactors at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear plant (where the volcanic risk inspection has nearly been completed), and the No. 2 unit at the Shimane nuclear power station run by Chugoku Electric Power Co. are all close to volcanoes with calderas. However, the NRA has never declared a plant site unfit due to the threat of volcanic activity.
Regarding the Hiroshima High Court’s Dec. 13 decision to order Shikoku Electric Power Co. to shut the No. 3 reactor at its Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture, NRA chief Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters, “I am not directly concerned (with the case) so I am not in a position to comment.” He added that the ruling would have “no effect” on NRA inspections.
Hokkaido University specially appointed professor of nuclear reactor engineering Tadashi Narabayashi, meanwhile, said the court decision was the product of “logical leaps.”
“Stopping (reactor) operation based on personal rights requires an imminent danger,” Narabayashi wrote in a comment to the Mainichi Shimbun. “It’s difficult to say that the chance of a cataclysmic eruption, which is thought to happen only about once in 10,000 years, meets that definition. The Ikata plant’s No. 3 unit is protected from falling volcanic material and has an enhanced reactor core cooling system, so there is simply no probability of an incident that would endanger the lives of the people in the city of Matsuyama or Hiroshima.”
Meanwhile, Kobe University magma specialist Yoshiyuki Tatsumi praised the court ruling as “based on scientific knowledge grounded in current volcanology.”
“There is about a 1 percent chance of a cataclysmic eruption in Japan in the next 100 years, so mathematically speaking, one could happen at any time,” he continued. “At present, we do not know what kinds of signs would portend such an eruption. It is also unknown how much magma has built up under Mount Aso (in Kumamoto Prefecture), so the government needs to strengthen its observations there among other measures.”
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December 14, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | 2 Comments

One Fukushima Tepco employee’s Leukemia certified, how many of the subcontracted employees ignored?

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In the background, from left, the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 reactor buildings of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are seen, in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 31, 2016. In front are tanks used to store contaminated water.
Gov’t certifies Fukushima TEPCO employee’s leukemia as work-related illness
The leukemia that developed in a Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) employee in his 40s working on the aftermath of the damaged Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant was certified as a work-related illness by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Dec. 13, it has been learned.
According to the ministry, the man was in charge of ensuring the safety of the reactors at the Fukushima plant since April 1994. After the reactor meltdowns in March 2011, he donned protective clothing and a mask and also led the effort to cool the overheating reactors with water. He developed leukemia in February last year and is currently receiving treatment.
Over the roughly 19 years that he worked at the nuclear facility, he was exposed to some 99 millisieverts of radiation. Of that, approximately 96 millisieverts occurred after the accident. As the radiation exposure levels exceeded the ministry’s baseline of 5 millisieverts per year multiplied by years of employment, his cancer was certified as being linked to his work at the nuclear power station.
This marks the third case of receiving work-related illness certification for developing leukemia in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster.
 
Ex-Fukushima plant worker granted compensation
Japan’s labor ministry has certified that a former worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is eligible for work-related compensation after developing leukemia from radiation exposure.
The worker in his 40s is employed by Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. He worked at the plant for more than 19 years until last year. He maintained equipment among other jobs.
That period includes the 9 months following the nuclear accident at the plant, which started on March 11th, 2011.
The ministry says during those months, he checked out damage from the quake-generated tsunami and injected water into the containment vessels of the No.1 and No.3 reactors.
The reactor cores melted down during the accident.
The ministry says he developed leukemia in February of last year and applied for work-related compensation.
The man was exposed to an accumulated 99.3 millisieverts of radiation. The ministry says that amount can cause the disease.
He is the 4th person to be recognized as eligible for work-related compensation after developing leukemia or thyroid cancer in relation to containment work at the plant.
Since the nuclear accident, a total of about 56,000 workers have been engaged in containment and decommissioning work at the plant through May of this year.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 1 Comment

For 1st time, a high court rules against nuclear plant operations

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Lawyers hold up signs outside the Hiroshima High Court on Dec. 13 proclaiming an injunction had been ordered on operations at the Ikata nuclear power plant.
 
For 1st time, a high court rules against nuclear plant operations
HIROSHIMA–A high court for the first time has banned operations at a nuclear power plant.
The Hiroshima High Court issued the injunction in a verdict Dec. 13 that applies to the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co.
In the ruling, the high court concluded there was a chance the Ikata plant could be affected by a pyroclastic flow from Mount Aso if an eruption occurred similar in scale to a massive one 90,000 years ago on the southern island of Kyushu.
A computer simulation by Shikoku Electric of the possible effects from an eruption like the one in ancient times showed there was a possibility of a pyroclastic flow reaching the grounds of the Ikata plant.
The high court concluded that the Ikata plant was located in an inappropriate location and that the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision that new safety standards had been met was not rational.
The company suspended operations in October to carry out a periodic inspection. If a judicial decision overturning the Dec. 13 high court ruling is not issued, the Ikata reactor will not be able to resume operations–even if the inspection is completed without problems.
For that reason, the latest ruling could affect the government’s plans to resume operations at other nuclear plants more than six years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
An official with Shikoku Electric Power labeled the court injunction as “extremely regrettable” and lamented the fact that it did not accept the company’s assertion that the plant is safe.
“The verdict is unacceptable,” the official said.
The utility plans to initiate procedures immediately to have the injunction suspended.
The injunction request was made by four residents of Hiroshima and Matsuyama cities. Among the main points of contention before the high court were the rationality of new safety standards approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster; the rationality behind the expected maximum strength of an earthquake for the area; and an evaluation of the effect of volcanic ash on the reactor’s operations.
While district courts have issued injunctions on operations at other plants, higher courts have overturned all those verdicts until now.
For example, the Fukui District Court in April 2015 and the Otsu District Court in March 2016 ordered operations stopped at the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., but those verdicts were later overturned.
 
13 dec hiroshima high court nix ikata npp.jpg
Lawyers hold up banners with messages such as, “Injunction issued,” following a Hiroshima High Court order to suspend operation of the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant, in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, on Dec. 13, 2017.
High court orders Shikoku Electric to halt Ehime nuclear reactor
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) — The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor in western Japan, dealing a blow to the government and utilities aiming to bring more reactors back online.
The first high court suspension order in a series of similar injunction requests demanded that plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. shut the No. 3 unit of the Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture until the end of September next year.
The ruling blocks the planned resumption in January of the unit, which is currently offline for a regular checkup after it was restarted in August 2016.
Shikoku Electric said the decision is “unacceptable” and plans to file an appeal against it.
The court found it was irrational that the Nuclear Regulation Authority judged that the potential risks associated with a volcanic eruption would not breach the stricter regulations introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
“Specific threats to the lives and health of residents are anticipated,” the court said.
The latest decision follows the ruling by the Otsu District Court in March 2016 that ordered Kansai Electric Power Co. to suspend two reactivated nuclear reactors at the Takahama plant. The district court decision was later overturned by the Osaka High Court.
The government is looking to produce 20 to 22 percent of the country’s electricity supply with nuclear power by 2030 after the Fukushima nuclear crisis led to a nationwide halt of nuclear plants.
The focal points of the latest decision included whether the estimate by the plant operator of the potential size of an earthquake, a key factor in a reactor’s quake-resistance design, was reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under the new regulations was credible.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake and that it is located near a geological fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety and major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because they were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric said that it has ensured safety and there is no danger.
Hiroyuki Kawai, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said, “Our plea was understood. We could protect the Seto Inland Sea. It is our victory.”
The plaintiffs had said that if the Ikata plant, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, was to be severely damaged, nuclear substances could spread and contaminate the sea.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court had found that the new regulations and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checkup, Shikoku Electric was expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22.
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima on the other side of the Seto Inland Sea. Similar injunction demands have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, the Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court.
 
 
Ikata power plant's No.2 reactor, right, and No. 3 reactor
Ikata power plant’s No.2 reactor, right, and No. 3 reactor in Ehime prefecture
Japan’s high court orders suspension of Ehime nuclear reactor
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) —  The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor at the Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan.
It is the first high court decision on a series of injunction demands filed with four district courts seeking to halt the No. 3 reactor at the plant, which was restarted in August 2016 but is now offline for a regular checkup.
The focal points of the decision included whether the estimate by the plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. of the potential size of a quake, a key factor in a reactor’s quake-resistance design, was reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under stricter regulations set after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was credible.
Risks predicted in the event of nuclear accidents and natural disasters such as a volcanic eruption were also contested.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake and that it is located near a geologic fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety and major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because they were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric said that it has ensured safety and there is no danger.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court had found that the new regulations set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checkup, Shikoku Electric was expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22 and resume operations on Feb. 20.
No. 3 reactor will stay offline as key safety issues remain contested
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima on the other side of the Seto Inland Sea. Similar injunction demands have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, the Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court.
 
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A lawyer representing residents who filed an injunction to suspend reactor operations at Ikata nuclear power plant speaks in front of Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday, after the court revoked a lower court decision and ordered suspension of the No. 3 reactor
Hiroshima High Court orders suspension of Ikata nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture, revoking district court ruling
HIROSHIMA – The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture, dealing a blow to the government and utilities that are aiming to bring more reactors back online.
The high court suspension order — the first in a series of similar injunctions — mandates that the plant operator shutter the No. 3 unit at the Ikata power plant until the end of September next year.
The ruling blocks the planned resumption in January of the unit, which is currently offline for regular checks after it was restarted in August 2016.
Shikoku Electric said the court’s decision is “unacceptable” and plans to file an appeal.
The court questioned a decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority that potential risks associated with volcanic eruptions would not breach the stricter regulations introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
“Specific threats to the lives and health of residents are anticipated,” the court said.
The latest decision follows a ruling by Otsu District Court in March 2016 that ordered Kansai Electric Power Co. to suspend two reactivated nuclear reactors at its Takahama plant. The district court decision was later overturned by the Osaka High Court.
The Fukushima nuclear crisis led to a nationwide halt of nuclear plants, but the government is looking to produce 20 to 22 percent of the country’s electricity supply using nuclear power by 2030.
The focal points of Hiroshima High Court’s decision Wednesday included whether estimates by the plant operator, Shikoku Electric Power Co., of the potential size of possible earthquakes, were reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under stricter regulations set after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was credible.
Risks predicted in the event of a nuclear accident or natural disasters such as a volcanic eruptions were also contested.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility had underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake, and that it is located near a geologic fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety, and that major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because the regulations were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric maintains that it has ensured safety and that there is no danger.
Hiroyuki Kawai, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said, “Our plea was understood. We could protect the Seto Inland Sea. It is our victory.”
The plaintiffs had said that if the Ikata plant, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, was to be severely damaged, nuclear substances could spread and contaminate waters in the area.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court found that the new regulations set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checks, Shikoku Electric had been expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22 and resume operations on Feb. 20.
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima, located on the opposite side of the Seto Inland Sea to the nuclear plant. Similar injunctions have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of Yamaguchi District Court.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Russian nuclear plant says it finally emits nuclear isotope #Ruthenium106

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By The Associated Press  MOSCOW — Dec 13, 2017,

A senior executive at the Russian nuclear processing plant suspected of being behind a spike of radioactivity over Europe this fall admitted Wednesday that the isotope recorded does emerge as part of the plant’s production cycle but said its levels are negligible.

Russian officials last month reported high levels of ruthenium-106 in areas close to the Mayak nuclear plant in the Ural Mountains.

The environmental group Greenpeace alleged that Mayak could have been the source of a ruthenium-106 leak, but the plant said it has not extracted the isotope or conducted any other operations that may lead to its release “for many years.”

But Yuri Mokrov, adviser to Mayak’s director general, said in a webcast press conference Wednesday that ruthenium-106 routinely emerges during the processing of spent nuclear fuel. Mokrov insisted, however, the plant was not the source of any major leak, saying it does not produce the isotope on purpose and that the emissions that the plant makes are so insignificant “we can only see it in the chimney.”

A Russian panel of experts dispatched to investigate the leak has failed to identify where the isotope came from, but alleged that it could have come from a satellite that came down from its orbit and disintegrated in the atmosphere. The commission said last week that a thorough inspection of the Mayak plant and its personnel had found no safety breaches.

“There is ruthenium in spent nuclear fuel, and Mayak during its activities routinely comes across this isotope,” Mokrov said, adding that “actual emissions are hundreds times lower the permitted levels.”

Mayak, in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region, saw one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents on Sept. 29, 1957, when a waste tank exploded. That contaminated 23,000 square kilometers (9,200 square miles) of territory and prompted authorities to evacuate 10,000 residents from neighboring regions.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/russian-plant-admits-emits-nuclear-isotope-leak-51762608

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

100 times above normal radiation in Fukushima in the snow #Safecast #CRIIRAD #UNSCEAR #Tokyo2020

Screenshot from 2017-12-14 08:31:31

Measurement date December 13, 2017 Measurement of high doses

9 mcSv/h at 1 m above ground

15 mcSv/h at 0.5 m above ground

46 mcSv/h at 5cm above the ground

Conditions Snow, low winds, cold and radioactive!

Source; kienaiyoru To support this brave soul who is documenting the risk of radioactive hot sports that seem to be being ignored by the main stream media and in even in some academic circles, please subscribe to his you tube channel and click like; https://www.youtube.com/user/kienaiyoru/videos?disable_polymer=1

Screenshot from 2017-12-14 08:34:58.png

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Russia disburses El Dabaa nuclear power plant loan/bribe to Egypt

Screenshot from 2017-12-14 07:31:24

Image source; DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN EGYPT: FOCUS ON COASTAL RESOURCES AND THE NILE 2002 https://search.oecd.org/env/cc/33330510.pdf

Egypt is to receive the first tranche of Russia’s $25 billion loan for El Dabaa nuclear power plant in January 2018, the electricity ministry reported on Wednesday.

The loan will cover 85% of the total construction cost of the nuclear plant plant valued at $21 billion, as well as designs, safety and environmental studies, Daily News Egypt stated.

On Monday, Egypt and Russia signed the agreement of El Dabaa nuclear power project during the meeting of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Cairo.

The Russian state nuclear company Rosatom will implement the nuclear power project within 12 years.

The project comprises of four units with 1,200 megawatts each.

-Mubasher

http://noozz.com/russia-disburses-1st-tranche-of-el-dabaa-nuclear-power-plant-loan-next-january/

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nigeria: Nuclear Agency Spent N367 Million Illegally – Senate Panel

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The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) generated N490million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 11 months and spent N367million without approval of the National Assembly.

This was revealed by members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) when top management of the agency led by the Director General, Lawrence Dim appeared for budget defence.

The IGR, according to the committee chaired by Senator Tayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo) was generated between January and November this year.

The senators said out of the N490m, the agency remitted only N122.6m to the Federation Account and spent the rest without budgetary provision.

A member of the committee, Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC, Borno) said the agency violated the country’s law by spending the money without approval of the National Assembly.

“You must have the approval of the National Assembly before spending the IGR. What you have done is an infraction of the law that provides that no money is spent without being appropriated for,” he said.

Committee chairman, Alasoadura demanded for the details of how the IGR was spent. “In preparing this, there is no key to show why 25 per cent is remitted and you did not show the balance. What did you do with the balance because it is not captured in the budget?

“I know what the law says but in preparing your budget, you should be explicit about why you remit only 25 per cent of your IGR. Where is the balance? Did we appropriate that money? We didn’t appropriate the money,” he said.

Responding, the DG said the law provides for the agency to spend 75 percent of the revenue for running of it day to day activities. He pledged to produce the details of how the IGR was spent.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201712140053.html

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

U.N.’s Guterres warns against ‘sleepwalking’ into war over North Korea

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

U.S. Congress takes no action on Iran nuclear deal before deadline, leaving decision to Trump

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-14 14:54:15|Editor: Chengcheng

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-12/14/c_136825750.htm

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) — U.S. Congress took no action before a deadline on reimposing sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, leaving the landmark deal intact and letting U.S. President Donald Trump make a decision in January.

On Oct. 13, Trump announced that he had decided to decertify Iran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015, a move that did not pull the United States out of the deal but triggered a 60-day window for Congress to decide whether to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, even it means violating the deal on the U.S. side.

In the past two months, Congress did not come up with any resolution to reimpose sanctions.

With no action from Congress, the ball was passed back to Trump, who should decide in mid-January if he would like to waive energy sanctions on Iran.

According to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INRA) passed by U.S. Congress in 2015, the Trump administration is required to recertify to Congress Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal every 90 days.

“There was actually no deadline to act by this week, as the administration did not ask that Congress introduce legislation to re-impose JCPOA-related sanctions,” claimed the White House Press Secretary Sandra Sanders at a Tuesday briefing, citing the deal by its formal title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Trump administration also expressed its intention to wait for another month before the president decides.

“I believe the next deadline comes up in January, so I don’t think that we would do anything prior to the deadline,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

The nuclear deal was reached between Iran and the six world powers of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany in July 2015. So far, the deal has helped defuse the Iran nuclear crisis and bolstered the international non-proliferation regime.

During his speech in October, Trump blamed Iran for committing “multiple violations of the agreement” and “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN watchdog tasked to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities, has certified eight times Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nigeria – Senate rejects Nuclear Authority’s 2018 budget proposal “inconsistencies”

  • Lambasts DG for spending N367m without approval

SENATE committee on Upstream Petroleum yesterday rejected the 2018 budget proposals of Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, for some inconsistencies dictated in the documents presented by the agency.

By

http://nigerianpilot.com/senate-rejects-nuclear-authoritys-2018-budget-proposal/

 This was as it lambasted the agency for generating an estimated N490million and spent N367million without National Assembly approval. Chairman, Senate Committee on Upstream Petroleum, Senator Tayo Alasoaodura (Ondo Central) handed down this directives yesterday when director general, Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Prof. Dim Lawrence appeared before the committee to present the agency’s budget estimate.

 

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The committee, while reviewing the performance of the agency’s 2017 budget, discovered that the agency has been in the habit of generating money and spending same without due regard to National Assembly approval. It also noticed some discrepancies in the figures presented to the committee in addition to failure to furnish the committee with comparative budget analysis.

The chairman there and then directed the committee’s clerk to write to all MDAs that they must present the committee with comparative budget analysis of their 2018 budget before appearing before the committee to defend their budget” He insisted that any MDAs that appeared before the committee on budget defence without the comparative analysis would not be allowed to present their budget.

“So director, you have to take this 2018 budget proposal back and do the comparative analysis before bringing it back to us for consideration. The figures are there and any budget that has no comparative analysis would be difficult to consider. Without this essential component of the budget how do we move forward. Look at the salary you showed us. The salary last year was too much. You had a shortfall; you gave us a figure this year how do we compare it with what we had last year and there was a shortfall of over N400million,” he queried. “Do we have to go back to this one before we can refer it with this one with 2018.So please come back on Friday by 12noon with the entire requirement for the 2018 budget.”

Reacting to the NNRA 2017 budget, Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central) said,

“I want to believe that you deliberately did what you did because you didn’t want to be transparent. This is not the first time you are presenting a budget and you know what it entails.”

Contributing, Senator Gershom Bassey (Cross River South), who is the vice chairman of the committee, said,

“Here we have a case of constitution breach and I think we have to go into committee look at matter.”

Also, Senator Alasoaodura noted that

“our resolution is that you will have to furnish us with how you expended the N367million internally generated revenue without the National Assembly approval because what you did is against the law. Seconding you must project what you will expend this year and present to this committee to review and appropriate. This information would be forwarded to the Senate plenary for consideration. Internally generated revenue of Agencies of government must be presented to the senate for consideration. We frown on anybody generating money and spending it without presenting it to the parliament for appropriation. It is unconstitutional and we will not encourage it.”

 

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uncertain future for nuclear policy after high court ruling

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

December 14, 2017 at 15:10 JST

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201712140031.html

The landmark Hiroshima High Court ruling ordering a suspension of operations at the Ikata nuclear power plant will likely have far-reaching ramifications for Japan’s nuclear energy policy.

It zeroed in on an aspect that has long been an issue with the anti-nuclear lobby, the Ehime Prefecture plant’s proximity to an active volcano and the prospect of the facility being inundated in a pyroclastic flow if Kyushu’s Mount Aso, 130 or so kilometers away, blows its top.

Instead of considering the frequency of major eruptions in the area, the Dec. 13 ruling focused on a massive one 90,000 years ago and the possibility of a nuclear calamity occurring if a similar event occurred today.

The ruling, the first by a high court ordering a suspension of nuclear plant operations, is especially relevant because Japan has 111 active volcanoes that have erupted in the past 10,000 years.

While massive eruptions are rare, occurring in general once every 10,000 years, all it takes is one to trigger destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Aso has had four massive eruptions in the last 300,000 years, the most recent occurring 90,000 years ago that triggered a pyroclastic flow that tossed magma and volcanic rocks over the Kanmon Straits separating Kyushu and Honshu into Yamaguchi Prefecture.

The last major volcanic eruption in Japan occurred roughly 7,300 years ago on the seabed south of Kyushu, devastating the southernmost main island where Jomon Pottery Culture (c. 8,000 B.C.-300 B.C.) was thriving.

The government, which was caught off-guard by the Hiroshima ruling, no doubt will pay close attention to future court rulings at that level because other nuclear power plants are situated at distances similar to that between the Ikata plant and Aso.

For example, the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture that are currently operating are located within a 160-kilometer radius of the Aso caldera, as are the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture that Kyushu Electric Power Co. hopes to bring back online next spring.

Kyushu Electric said it maintains close monitoring of seismic movements in the area caused by the rumblings of five volcanoes and is confident it will detect any signs of a possible huge eruption.

However, experts scoff at the notion on grounds that it is almost impossible to accurately predict the timing and scale of such an event. They also note that Japan has no practical experience in dealing with a massive eruption.

That said, the Japan Meteorological Agency monitors 50 active volcanoes around the clock.

Yoshiyuki Tatsumi, a professor of planetology at Kobe University, said, “Under the current setup of observing (volcanic) quakes and crustal movement, it is impossible to predict the scale of any eruption.”

The groundbreaking Hiroshima court ruling took the government by surprise.

Hiroshige Seko, the economy minister and a champion of nuclear power generation, asserts that the safety standards implemented by the Nuclear Regulation Agency in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster are “the highest in the world.”

Five reactors that passed the NRA’s more stringent screening have resumed operations since the Fukushima accident.

But the Hiroshima High Court said the NRA’s decision to allow the Ikata plant to resume operations was “not rational” in light of the facility’s location and the danger of a catastrophe occurring if Mount Aso erupts like it did 90,000 years ago.

Although Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga made clear at a Dec. 13 news conference that the government would closely abide by future decisions by the NRA, he was painfully rattled by the thought that the court ruling could sow further doubts among the public about the safety of nuclear plants, especially those located near volcanoes.

The government has set a goal of raising the ratio of electricity generated by nuclear power to between 20 and 22 percent of the nation’s overall needs by fiscal 2030. That would mean resuming operations at about 30 nuclear power plants.

However, utilities are already facing mind-boggling expenses just to meet the tougher safety standards. If they now have to brace for the possibility of being ordered by courts to halt their nuclear plant operations, the burden on private companies could become too much.

“Nuclear power generation is now impossible for a private-sector company because the risks are just too great,” said an executive of an electric power company.

(This article was compiled from reports by Shigeko Segawa, a senior staff writer, Chikako Kawahara and Tsuneo Sasai.)

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Reactors/Climate Change Lies: Gundersen Busts Nuke Industry’s PR Ploy – NH #338

This Week’s Feature:

  • Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education , former nuclear industry Senior Vice President and whistleblower, explains global warming in terms of an apple <!>, then takes apart the nuclear industry’s claims that we “need” 1,000 new nuclear reactors to combat climate change.  Brilliant, concise, filled with talking points we all need to know and use.

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

Leave it to Japan to promote the produce from the Fukushima region by serving it to the Organizing Committee of both the Olympics and Paralympics, and planning to serve nothing but Fukushima-area food to the athletes in 2020.  No testing for radiation contamination, just a PR blitz to convince everyone that there ain’t nothing wrong with food grown in a radiation contamination area.

The Missing Links:

Source for podcast interview and news (1 hr)

http://nuclearhotseat.com/2017/12/13/nuclear-reactorsclimate-change-lies-gundersen-busts-nuke-industrys-pr-ploy-nh-338/

 

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More on the UK EURATOM Boondogle – Brexit woes!

David Davis has stated that although there is no ‘systematic impact assessment’ of Britain leaving the European Union, the UK government has produced a ‘sectoral analysis’ of several industries. Joshua McMullan writes that one sector where it would be wise to examine the impact of leaving without any negotiated arrangement would be the nuclear power industry as the UK leaves Euratom. He highlights some potential foundations for a future agreement between the two.

As Britain leaves the European Union through the Article 50 process, it also signalled that it would leave Euratom, the European nuclear regulator, when it leaves in March 2019. However, several MPs and prominent Vote Leave officials, such as Dominic Cummings, have criticised the government’s plans to leave the organisation as a ‘huge misjudgement.’ The government have responded to these claims by producing the Nuclear materials and safeguards issues position paper. However, the position paper does not set out any of the details by which the UK government will ensure the ‘smooth transition to a UK nuclear safeguards regime, with no interruption in safeguards arrangements’.

In fact, it does little more than set out why the UK government believes it is within the interest of both parties to continue co-operation – something that has not satisfied those objecting to Britain’s exit from Euratom. Perhaps it is worth noting that this highly technical policy sector was a salient concern for remainers and leavers alike, but highlights how complex and multifaceted the process of disengaging from the EU, and its various associated institutions is. Yet there are solutions outside of the narrow mindsets of vague position papers and membership of Euratom, people just need to look back into the past relationship between Euratom and the UK.

Most of the discourse so far has centred around the possibility of an association agreement between the UK and Euratom, a solution which many believe will provide the stability and certainty that the industry so desperately needs. However, as Dan Phinnemore and Stuart Butler rightly point out in their respective articles, this is not a credible solution.

Firstly, there is currently no such thing as Associate Membership of Euratom. There are ‘Co-operation Agreements’ that exist between Switzerland and Euratom and Article 342 of the Ukraine Association Agreement that provides for extensive co-operation. Nonetheless, these are not association agreements and would not cover the level of co-operation that the UK requires. It would also potentially mean the involvement of the ECJ, a red line in the Brexit negotiations. Then there is the issue of history, I am referring to the difficult and complicated nature of negotiating with the Community, exemplified best by the rejection of UK EEC membership twice and the difficulty in renegotiating membership as David Cameron found out in 2016. Yet, despite this complication, an answer may yet lie in the agreements signed after 1959 leading up to the UK becoming a full member of Euratom in 1973.

Too often do politicians and commentators on all sides forget to study their history. In this case, it would be prudent for UK officials seeking to find an answer to this problem to examine the 1959 Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. This agreement stated the ‘mutual desire for close co-operation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy’, and this was before the UK applied to join Euratom formally in 1962.

The agreement covers several areas, including research as covered by Article I through to VIII. As well as Articles IX through to XII, that deal with the supply and use of materials and fuel needed for the research and production of nuclear energy. Although this treaty alone is not sufficient to just copy and paste to the present, it does show two vital points. First, it is a historical precedent for UK-Euratom relations which does not involve the UK being a part of Euratom. Secondly and most crucially, it can provide the foundations for future negotiations with Euratom.

Indeed, there are three other such UK-Euratom agreements between 1963 and 1973, these all show the potential for continued and fruitful relations between the two. The first in March 1963, two months after the British application to join the EEC was vetoed by France, was a contract which saw Britain supply France, the same country that two months before vetoed the UK’s entry into the EEC with plutonium oxide. In November 1964, another contract was signed for the UK to supply France with 45kg of plutonium.

Finally, in March 1965, the UK Atomic Authority signed an agreement with Euratom on the full exchange of information in the field of fast reactor physics. These contracts and agreements, made in a time of strained relations between the UK and primarily France, show that not only is nuclear co-operation with the continent outside of Euratom possible, it is also advisable for both parties to make such arrangements. The same is true today with the UK still being the major reprocessing centre for nuclear waste across the continent.

Of course, these treaties alone are not the basis for our future relationship with Euratom; the world we live in today is vastly different to what it was in the 1960s and our nuclear industry is not the size it once was. These old agreements do not cover medical isotopes at all, or nuclear safety regulations to the extent it is now. However, the very existence of these old treaties shows that new agreements that would include medical isotopes can be made.

The time between the original 1959 agreement, the suspension of the application to Euratom and then the new contracts shows that such agreements can take place if the political will is present. This is before we even begin to consider the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency has with nuclear power station inspections or the Nuclear Energy Agency, formerly the European Atomic Energy Agency, has in ensuring the safe running of nuclear reactors and the spread of research to member states. There is also something to be said for the role of private industry in finding practical solutions to the continued safety and commercial success of Britain’s nuclear power industry.

It is politically unfeasible for the government to withdraw the Article 106a notification, without it raising questions about the possibility of withdrawing the notification of Article 50 due it being mentioned in the Article 50 letter of notification. Furthermore, ECJ jurisdiction over Euratom, something that crosses one of the Prime Ministers “red lines”, regardless of whether this is right or wrong, would mean that the government would still seek to leave Euratom even if it was possible to withdraw Article 106a. Rather than continue this endless circle of debate, let’s put pressure on Parliament, not just the negotiators to use historical inspiration to be inventive, and resolve this crisis. The 1959 agreement alone would be a strong foundation, something that can be built on over time.

Finding a solution to this problem is vital for the industry. Euratom is part of the global network of agencies which seek to maintain the effectiveness of nuclear power to provide energy for the future, particularly in the climate of reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Regardless of how the UK government eventually resolves this, perhaps self-inflicted dilemma, negotiators and officials would do well to read up on their history. Not only would it help with Euratom, it could just help David Davis with his impact assessments by understanding what the situation was before joining the Community in 1973. It might just save them a whole lot of trouble.

Note: This article originally appeared at our sister site, LSE Brexit. It gives the views of the author, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics.

https://european.economicblogs.org/lse/2017/team-avoiding-nuclear-meltdown-euratom

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

N.Y. Power Seen Sufficient After Indian Point Nuclear Retirement: Report

Dec. 13, 2017, at 11:56 a.m.

(Reuters) – New York’s power grid operator said on Wednesday the state should have enough electricity after the closure of two reactors at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in 2020 and 2021, as new sources of mostly natural gas-fired generation enter service.

In a report, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which operates the state’s power grid, said the system would remain reliable during the five-year period (2018-2023) it studied.

Entergy Corp said in January it would shut the two reactors at its 2,069-megawatt Indian Point station for economic and other reasons as cheap gas prices from nearby shale formations like the Marcellus in Pennsylvania have driven down power prices.

 

The NYISO said it expected at least three large gas-fired power plants currently under construction to enter service over the next few years, including a 120-MW addition to the Bayonne Energy Center in New Jersey, Competitive Power Ventures’ 678-MW Valley Energy Center in New York and Advanced Power Services’ 1,020-MW Cricket Valley Energy Center in New York.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 U.S. homes.

 

The Bayonne plant is tied into New York City’s power grid. It is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Corp, part of the family of companies overseen by Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by David Gregorio)

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-13/ny-power-seen-sufficient-after-indian-point-nuclear-retirement-report

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Government ‘must find new nuclear sites and speed up reactor approval’

smr-boondoggle

Joseph Flaig

The government must identify new sites for nuclear power stations and help quicken the approval of reactors to help the sector thrive, a report has said.

The IMechE report, Nuclear Power: A Future Pathway for the UK, says the government should hold an independent review of the Generic Design Assessment process, a necessary step for the approval of any reactor in the UK. The review is needed to prevent unnecessary costs and enable the faster approval of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the IMechE report said.

Other “key actions” include adding nuclear construction skills to the shortage occupation list ahead of Brexit – allowing experienced workers from overseas to enter the UK ­­– and running a new Strategic Siting Assessment to identify further nuclear sites beyond Hinkley Point C’s potential completion in 2025, including locations for SMRs.

“The delays and escalating costs of the Hinkley Point C project have provoked a public backlash in recent years against nuclear power,” said Jenifer Baxter, lead author of the report and head of energy and environment at the IMechE. “Yet as a reliable and relatively low-carbon source of electricity, it makes sense for nuclear to form a greater part of the UK’s future energy mix, reducing our reliance on coal and gas.”

The key challenge to the nuclear sector is reducing costs and delays, she said. An independent review of the assessment process will make it easier to approve SMRs and ensure unnecessary costs are not incurred, she added. “SMRs present a lower-cost option, with comparatively straightforward construction and, potentially, a more attractive investment proposition than conventional larger-scale nuclear plants.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been contacted for comment.


Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/government-%27must-find-new-nuclear-sites-and-speed-up-reactor-approval%27

UK consults on process for potential new 1GW nuclear sites

The UK Government has launched a consultation on the process and criteria for designating potentially suitable sites for new nuclear post 2025.

They would include new nuclear power stations with more than 1GW of single reactor electricity generating capacity for deployment between 2026 and 2035.

The government’s current nuclear power National Policy Statements (NPS) lists eight sites as potentially suitable for new nuclear plants by the end of 2025 – Hinkley Point C, Wylfa, Sellafield, Sizewell, Bradwell, Oldbury, Hartlepool and Heysham.

It is seeking views on potential new sites from industry, local authorities, regulators and non-departmental public bodies, NGOs and local residents as well as a new NPS.

BEIS said: “The need for the UK to continue its efforts in transitioning to a low carbon electricity market is underlined by the 2015 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. The government is therefore of the view that new nuclear power is important in making the transition to a low carbon economy.

“Therefore, it is important that there is a strong pipeline of new nuclear power to contribute to the UK’s energy mix and security of supply in the future.”

The consultation will run until 15th March 2018.

http://www.energylivenews.com/2017/12/14/uk-consults-on-process-for-potential-new-1gw-nuclear-sites/

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment