nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Regulator urges release of treated Fukushima radioactive water into sea

11 jan 2018 tritium water release pacific NRA.jpg
 
The chief of Japan’s nuclear regulator said Thursday water at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that contains radioactive tritium even after being treated should be released into the sea after dilution.
“We will face a new challenge if a decision (about the release) is not made within this year,” Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa told a local mayor, referring to the more than 1 million tons of coolant water and groundwater that has accumulated at the facility crippled by the 2011 disaster triggered by a devastating quake and tsunami.
As local fishermen are worried about the negative impact from the water discharge, the Japanese government and Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. have not made a final decision on the treated water, which is currently stored in tanks.
In his meeting with Yukiei Matsumoto, mayor of Naraha town near the Fukushima plant, Fuketa said, “It is scientifically clear that there will be no influence to marine products or to the environment” following the water release.
The nuclear regulator chief underlined the need for the government and Tepco to quickly make a decision, saying, “It will take two or three years to prepare for the water release into the sea.”
At the Fukushima plant, toxic water is building up partly because groundwater is seeping into the reactor buildings to mix with water made radioactive in the process of cooling the damaged reactors.
Such contaminated water is treated to remove radioactive materials but tritium, a radioactive substance considered relatively harmless to humans, remains in the filtered water as it is difficult to separate even after passing through a treatment process.
At other nuclear power plants, tritium-containing water is routinely dumped into the sea after it is diluted. The regulator has been calling for the release of the water after diluting it to a density lower than standards set by law.
With limited storage space for water tanks, observers warn tritium could start leaking from the Fukushima plant.
On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, and flooded the power supply facilities.
Reactor cooling systems were crippled and the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill calling for “immediate halt” to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power

jjklmmùmùù.jpg
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, far right, speaks at a press conference at the House of Representatives First Members’ Office Building in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Jan. 10, 2018, to announce the bill for a nuclear free, renewable energy plan. Sitting on the far left is former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.
Junichiro Koizumi-led group pitches bill calling for ‘immediate halt’ to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power
A group advised by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Wednesday unveiled details about a bill calling for an “immediate halt” to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power to prevent a recurrence of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The group is seeking to submit the bill to an upcoming Diet session in cooperation with opposition parties.
Sporting his signature leonine hairdo, Koizumi, one of Japan’s most popular prime ministers in recent memory, made a rare appearance before reporters with his unabated frankness, lashing out at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his persistent pro-nuclear stance.
“You may think the goal of zero nuclear power is hard to achieve, but it’s not,” Koizumi said, adding that he believes many lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party support nuclear power passively out of respect for Abe, but that they could be persuaded to embrace a zero-nuclear policy under a different leader.
“Judging from his past remarks, I don’t think we can realize zero nuclear power as long as Abe remains in power. But I do think we can make it happen if he is replaced by a prime minister willing to listen to the public,” Koizumi told a packed news conference organized by Genjiren, an anti-nuclear association for which he serves as an adviser along with Morihiro Hosokawa, another former prime minister.
Claiming that the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant exposed the “extremely dangerous” and “costly” nature of atomic power — with a means of disposing of spent fuel still not in sight — the bill drafted by Genjiren calls for Japan’s “complete switch” to renewable energy.
Specifically, it demands that all active nuclear reactors be switched offline immediately and that those currently idle never be reactivated. It also defines the government’s responsibility to initiate steps toward a mass decommissioning and to map out “foolproof and safe” plans to dispose of spent fuel rods.
The bill sets forth specific numerical targets, too, saying various sources of natural energy, including solar, wind, water and geothermal heat, should occupy more than 50 percent of the nation’s total power supply by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
That Japan has experienced no mass power shortage following the shutdown of all 48 reactors in the wake of the 2011 crisis, except for a handful since reactivated, is in itself a testament to the fact that “we can get by without nuclear power,” Koizumi said.
A 2017 white paper by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows Japan’s reliance on nuclear power has plunged to a mere 1 percent after the Fukushima meltdowns. The vast majority of Japan’s power is supplied by sources such as liquefied natural gas, coal and oil.
Although the controversy over nuclear power has rarely emerged as a priority in recent parliamentary debates, the creation of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan may herald a breakthrough.
Later Wednesday, Genjiren pitched the bill to the CDP in a meeting with some of its members, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was in power when the Fukushima crisis erupted.
The CDP seeks to submit its own “zero nuclear power” bill to a regular Diet session slated to kick off later this month, positioning itself as a clearer anti-nuclear alternative to Abe’s ruling party than its predecessor, the Democratic Party.
The DP, which until recently held the most seats among opposition parties in both houses of the Diet, had failed to go all-out in crusading against nuclear power under the previous leadership of Renho, who goes by only one name.
At a party convention last March, Renho balked at adopting an ambitious target of slashing Japan’s reliance on nuclear power to zero by 2030 after reportedly facing resistance from party members beholden to the support of electricity industry unions.
In a preliminary draft unveiled Wednesday, the CDP’s bill-in-the-making called for ridding Japan of nuclear power “as soon as possible.”
 
Civic group proposes bill for Japan to exit nuclear power
TOKYO (Kyodo) — A Japanese civic group of activists, scholars and former politicians proposed a bill Wednesday to promote the country’s use of renewable energy and exit nuclear power in the hope of gaining the support of ruling and opposition parties.
“We will definitely realize zero nuclear plants by winning the support of many citizens,” former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who serves as the group’s adviser, told a press conference.
Koizumi, whose remarks still carry influence among the public, and former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa have been campaigning against the resumption of nuclear reactors taken offline after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Hosokawa is also an adviser to the group.
The leader of the group, Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara, later exchanged views with officials of the anti-nuclear Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force in the House of Representatives. The group is urging lawmakers to submit the bill to the Diet’s ordinary session to be convened on Jan. 22.
The government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who doubles as the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is promoting the restart of idle nuclear reactors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a separate press conference Wednesday the government’s stance to bring reactors back online once they clear safety reviews of the Nuclear Regulation Authority “will not change.”
“We will also seek to lower the dependence on nuclear power as much as possible by maximizing the use of renewable energy and the thorough implementation of energy-saving measures,” the top government spokesman said.

jjklmmùmùù.jpg

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Experts doubt lifting of Japan food ban

Concerns linger about imports from nuclear radiation area
684b93fd-9b39-4c19-ab4d-f6aee3daa0ff.jpeg
Quarantine officers inspect king crabs imported from Japan in Taicang, East China’s Jiangsu Province in December 2016.
The curbs on imports of Japanese food produced in areas hit by the country’s nuclear crisis will not be easily relaxed or lifted, and Chinese consumers won’t accept such imports given food safety concerns, experts said.
 
The comments came after reports in the Japanese media said that China will probably relax import restrictions on Japanese food that were put in place after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, signaling an improvement in relations between the two countries.
 
A report by Kyodo News Agency on January 1 said that China has proposed talks with Japan on whether to ease or lift an import ban on food from 10 prefectures imposed after the meltdown at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, citing related diplomatic sources.
 
China has offered to set up a working group to discuss the matter in response to a request by a group of Japanese lawmakers led by Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who visited Beijing and held talks with the Chinese side about relaxing import restrictions on December 29, 2017, said the Kyodo report.
 
It also noted that Zhi Shuping, head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), China’s quality watchdog, made the proposal when he met with Nikai that day.
 
The AQSIQ banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima in 2011, amid fears of radiation contamination following the disaster.
 
The quality watchdog did not reply to a request for comment from the Global Times as of press time. Neither has any official statement from the Japanese side been released.
 
The Kyodo report said the talks were “a sign that the governments of the two countries are looking for ways to mend ties as they mark [in 2018] the 40th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of peace and friendship between Japan and China.”
 
But this view was seen as overly optimistic by some Chinese experts.
 
Chen Zilei, deputy director of the National Association for the Japanese Economy, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the beginning of such talks does not mean an easing or lifting of the ban is imminent.
 
“The beginning of negotiations might signal an improvement in bilateral relations, but we have our own supervision standards and requirements for imported goods, which will not be changed,” Chen said.
 
Besides, Japan needs to publicize the accident-related information in a more open and transparent way in order to address the concerns, Chen said, adding that this would be a prerequisite for carrying out the negotiations.
 
“It is also Japan’s obligation to the international community,” he noted.
 
Many countries and regions, including China, the US, South Korea, Singapore and the EU, have curbed imports of food products from areas near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant over fears of potential contamination, although some have recently eased their restrictions.
 
The EU has decided to ease import restrictions on Japan’s farm and marine products, including rice, the Japan Times reported in November.
 
Consumers’ concern
 
Ruan Guangfeng, director of the science and technology department at the China Food Information Center, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the radiation in the areas near Fukushima has returned to the level before the disaster happened, according to the related data.
 
“Even if the import ban is lifted, consumers do not need to worry too much, as the import checks will only be stricter,” Ruan noted.
 
However, not all consumers will draw confidence from the scientific conclusion, according to Zhu Danpeng, a food industry analyst.
 
“In terms of the industrial side, there is no big problem based on the efforts of the Japanese government as well as the long time it has taken to restore the situation. However, it is the consumer end, which takes up 80 percent of the importance in the food industry, that plays the key role,” Zhu told the Global Times on Wednesday.
 
“Most consumers have a psychological barrier against accepting food from the nuclear radiation areas,” Zhu said, noting that Japanese seafood has not been very popular in the Chinese market over the past two years, partly due to increasing competition from products from countries such as Denmark, Norway and Canada.
 
“Friends around me have declined to eat any Japanese seafood since the accident took place since you cannot tell whether it is from the radiation-stricken area or not,” he said.
 

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

China blasts Canada, U.S. for North Korea summit

Lee Berthiaume The Canadian Press
January 10, 2018
Canada is set to host a major summit next week aimed at showing international support for a diplomatic solution in North Korea. But a major player won’t be there. Vassy Kapelos reports.

OTTAWA – China is taking aim at an international summit on North Korea in Vancouver next week, saying the event co-hosted by Canada and the United States is likely to do more harm than good.

The Canadian government is keeping a tight lid on which countries have been invited and plan to attend Tuesday’s meeting, which Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is organizing with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

But a senior government source connected to the summit told Global News Tuesday not “to expect to be there.”

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry revealed Wednesday that his country will not be at the table, even as he criticized the meeting and suggested it will set back – rather than advance – peace efforts.

“It will only create divisions within the international community and harm joint efforts to appropriately resolve the Korean peninsula nuclear issue,” spokesman Lu Kang was quoted as telling reporters in Beijing.

Russia is also expected to be absent along with China, meaning two of North Korea’s most important and influential neighbours will be missing when Freeland and Tillerson sit down with other foreign ministers.

https://boom997.com/news/3958165/china-canada-north-korea-summit/

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear company AREVA to join China National Nuclear Corp in nuclear reprocessing

Areva to sign 10 bln euros China nuclear re-processing MoU -sourcehttps://www.reuters.com/article/china-france-areva/areva-to-sign-10-bln-euros-china-nuclear-re-processing-mou-source-idUSP6N1NF02R, Reuters Staff, 

PARIS, Jan 9 (Reuters) – French power group Areva is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a Chinese nuclear re-processing deal worth about 10 billion euros ($11.9 billion), a source with knowledge of the matter said.

The deal with the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) was expected to be signed on Tuesday, during a state visit to China by French President Emmanuel Macron.

$1 = 0.8375 euros Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas and Jean-Michel Belot

January 11, 2018 Posted by | China, France, marketing | Leave a comment

Putin fears that terrorists might attack nuclear power stations, using drones

Putin fears nuclear power plant drone attack: Special military until is set up to prevent terrorist strike after the gadgets are used to bomb Russian bases in Syria   Daily Mail Australia

Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect nuclear power plants
The move involves developing of technology to reliably zap incoming drones
It comes amid fears that terrorists could destroy bases using long-range missiles
Concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria

The move – involving the development of technology to reliably zap drones – comes amid fears that terrorists could use sophisticated long-distance weapons to target nuclear bases.

Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria using UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles.

Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect key Russian installations like nuclear power stations from drone attacks in the same week his forces came under attack from ‘assault drones’ at its Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval base in Syria

 Technology to zap drones has been developed in Russia but needs testing, said Col-General Sergey Melikov, first deputy director of the national guard.

He made clear nuclear power plants were among the state facilities that required protection.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence this week shared an image of what it claims is a drone fitted with explosives brought down before it attacked one of their military bases in Syria.

Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria using UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Kremlin has demanded that the Defence Ministry, several secret service agencies and the Russian National Guard work together to find a solution to destroy drones before they reach their targets.

Technology to zap drones has been developed in Russia but needs testing, said Col-General Sergey Melikov, first deputy director of the national guard.

He made clear nuclear power plants were among the state facilities that required protection.

‘We are considering an option to create groups to test experimental equipment to fight UAVs within our units,’ he said.

‘We have a certain device but it is not clear how easy is it to use.

‘It needs to be tested first.

‘If we realise that a special unit with a team of specialists needs to be created, of course we will do so.’

The move – involving the development of technology to reliably zap drones – comes amid fears that terrorists could use sophisticated long-distance weapons to target nuclear bases.

He revealed the plan is being studied by experts including those from the Defence Ministry and FSB, the former KGB counter-intelligence service.

Security expert Yury Zakharchenko said there was no universal technology yet to fight sophisticated drone attacks.

Such a system or systems must recognise and identify incoming UAVs and then launch an appropriate strike by either radio electronic attack or missile.

‘This task has not been resolved anywhere in the world because it’s difficult, but the work is being done,’ he said.

‘The establishment of a separate unit of Rosgvardia (national guard) will perhaps allow us to intensify research and development in this area.’

Recent pictures of captured Jihadist drones in Syria were released.

This week Russian forces came under attack from ‘assault drones’ at its Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval base in Syria, said the defence ministry………..http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5247523/Drone-attack-Russian-bases-Syria-no-casualties-Moscow.html

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Cumbria not the safest, nor cheapest, nor easiest place to bury UK’s nuclear waste

Cumbria Trust 9th Jan 2018, Former Leader of Cumbria County Council, and current Director of Cumbria Trust, Eddie Martin was interviewed by BBC Radio Cumbria, to discuss the latest plans to find a site to bury the UK’s nuclear waste. Our members will recall that it was Eddie Martin who along with his cabinet, halted the last search process. During the interview Eddie is challenged to respond to a point from Professor Francis Livens of Manchester University, who claimed that it would be possible to engineer a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in West Cumbria, although he admitted that it would be quicker, easier and cheaper elsewhere.

What Professor Livens omitted to say was that it would also be safer elsewhere as well since geology forms the final barrier. That was the conclusion of the £400m Nirex investigation in the 1980s and 90s, and the government-funded geologist during the last process backed the view that the prospects of finding the right geology were so poor in Cumbria that no commercial organisation would continue.

Perhaps Professor Livens,who is a radio-chemist rather than a geologist, is unaware of the history of this project, and particularly the conclusions reached by geologists on both sides of the debate. The entire purpose of the National Geological
screening exercise is to seek volunteers from geologically suitable areas and his intervention appears to preempt the report which is due to be released in the next few months.

As Eddie Martin points out there are potentially far safer and more suitable GDF sites in the UK, including a
site under the North Sea and the job of the government should be to encourage those areas to volunteer.
https://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/2018-and-the-gdf-is-back-in-the-news/

January 11, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

North and South Korea agree on Winter Olympics, but not on denuclearization

North Korea Wins Olympics Trip, But Discord Remains Over Nuclear Weapons, By David Tweed and Kanga Kong, Bloomberg, 

  • South Korea talks stumble over call for denuclearization
  • Both sides agree on North Korea participating in Olympics
………as the day wore on, and South Korea proposed talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the mood appeared to sour. Ri issued a “strong complaint” that Seoul dared to even raise the possibility of denuclearization at such an early stage. The subject is likely to arise again Wednesday when South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a press briefing.
North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games starting Feb. 9 brings potential benefits to the troubled Korean peninsula, which has been divided for more than 70 years. Kim Jong Un gets the opportunity to ease the global pressure on his isolated regime, while Moon can bet on a more peaceful Olympics and claim a victory in his push for dialogue.

But the long-term dilemma remains: North Korea sees its nuclear weapons — and the ability to use them against the U.S. — as the only thing protecting against an American invasion. At the same time, U.S. President Donald Trump views Kim’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal as an intolerable threat, one that must be eradicated by war if necessary.

All of North Korea’s “high-end strategic weapons” are targeted at the U.S., Ri said at the conclusion of the talks Tuesday, according to South Korean media…….. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/as-north-korea-wins-trip-to-olympics-discord-remains-over-nukes

January 11, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment