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Abe snubs head of Nobel-winning no-nukes group

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Akira Kawasaki, a member of the group’s international steering committee, place a wreath at the Cenotaph for A-bomb Victims in Hiroshima on Monday.
HIROSHIMA – The leader of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has been denied a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the nongovernmental organization Peace Boat said Monday.
ICAN has asked the Japanese government twice since late December to arrange a meeting between Abe and Executive Director Beatrice Fihn during her visit to Japan, but the Foreign Ministry declined the requests, citing scheduling conflicts, according to Peace Boat, a major steering group member of the Geneva-based organization.
Expressing disappointment over failing to meet Abe on her first visit to Japan, Fihn said in Hiroshima that she wanted to talk with him about how the world can avoid devastation of the type inflicted on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Fihn said she hopes to meet with the prime minister at the next opportunity.
Atomic-bomb survivors also expressed disappointment.
“Does Prime Minister Abe understand the significance of ICAN winning the Noble Peace Prize? It is very regrettable to feel this difference of attitudes between the government and atomic-bomb survivors,” said Hiroko Kishida, a 77-year-old hibakusha in Hiroshima.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo that ICAN’s requests were declined “due to a conflict of schedule. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Fihn arrived in Japan on Friday. After visiting Nagasaki through Sunday, she moved on to Hiroshima and was scheduled to hold discussions with Diet members in Tokyo on Tuesday before leaving Japan on Thursday.
Abe departed Japan on Friday for a six-nation European tour and is scheduled to return home Wednesday.
ICAN, founded in 2007, is a coalition of NGOs that involves about 470 groups from more than 100 countries.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

An assessment on the environmental contamination caused by the Fukushima accident


Different mechanisms of the release of the radionuclides into the atmosphere and cooling water.

Atmospheric releases mainly governed by the volatility of the radionuclides.

Significant releases of long-lived radionuclides including 137Cs and 90Sr into the cooling water.


The radiological releases from the damaged fuel to the atmosphere and into the cooling water in the Fukushima Daiich Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident are investigated. Atmospheric releases to the land and ocean mostly occurred during the first week after the accident whereas continuous release from the damaged fuel into the cooling water resulted in an accumulation of contaminated water in the plant during last six years. An evaluation of measurement data and analytical model for the release of radionuclides indicated that atmospheric releases were mainly governed by the volatility of the radionuclides. Using the measurement data on the contaminated water, the mechanism for the release of long-lived radionuclides into the cooling water was analyzed. It was found that the radioactivity concentrations of 90Sr in the contaminated water in the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) of unit 2 and unit 3 were consistently higher than that of 137Cs and the radioactivity concentration of 90Sr in the turbine building of unit 1 in year 2015 was higher than that in year 2011. It was also observed that the radioactivity concentration of long-lived radionuclides in the contaminated water in the FDNPP is still high even in year 2015. The activity ratio of 238Pu/239+240Pu for the contaminated water was in the range of 1.7–5.4, which was significantly different from the ratios from the soil samples representing the atmospheric releases of FDNPP. It is concluded that the release mechanisms into the atmosphere and cooling water are clearly different and there has been significant amount of long-lived radionuclides released into the contaminated water.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

ICAN chief calls on Japan to join treaty banning nuclear weapons

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NAGASAKI (Kyodo) — The leader of the antinuclear group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, on Saturday called on Japan to take part in the treaty banning nuclear weapons.
In a keynote speech at a symposium in Nagasaki, one of two atomic-bombed cities, ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn criticized the Japanese government for not joining the treaty banning nuclear weapons, adopted by 122 U.N. members in July.
“The Japanese government should know better than any other nation the consequences of nuclear weapons, yet Tokyo is happy to live under the umbrella of U.S. nuclear protection, and has not joined the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons,” Fihn said. “Is your government okay with repeating the evil that was done to Nagasaki and Hiroshima to other cities?”
Japan sat out the treaty negotiations, as did the world’s nuclear-armed countries and others relying on the deterrence of the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
Japan remains the only country to have sustained wartime atomic bombings, over 72 years after the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and of Nagasaki three days later.
Fihn said as long as the Japanese government believes in the effect of deterrence from the U.S. nuclear umbrella, it means encouraging nuclear proliferation and along with other nations living under the protection of nuclear alliances, it is moving the world closer toward the eventual use of nuclear weapons.
“It is unacceptable to be a willing participant in this nuclear umbrella,” she said.
The executive director of the international group campaigning for a total ban on nuclear weapons, meanwhile, applauded atomic bomb survivors, or hibakusha, for their efforts to speak out not to repeat the tragedy.
“The nuclear ban treaty would not exist without the hibakusha,” she said.
At a panel discussion held after the speech, Nobuharu Imanishi, director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Arms Control and Disarmament Division, said Japan is facing a “severe security environment” given North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
“Joining the treaty would damage the legitimacy of nuclear deterrence provided by the United States,” he said.
In responding to his remarks, Fihn called on symposium visitors to put more pressure on politicians through grassroots activities to have them change the nuclear policy.
She has requested that the Japanese government set up a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her stay in Japan.
Asked at a press conference about what she would like to tell the prime minister if she can meet him, Fihn said she wants to ask Abe to show leadership in the movement for nuclear disarmament as the leader of the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.
Abe is currently on a six-nation European tour through Wednesday.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Will Go Down in History As the Biggest Coverup

The cover-up of the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is disgusting.
To deny the existing dangers to people’s lives in the name of  reconstruction is criminal and not a solution to those real existing dangers. Misinformation is their science. Deception is their art.
They worship at the altar of the Japanese Yen.
5 more minors in Fukushima Pref. at time of nuclear accident diagnosed with thyroid cancer
FUKUSHIMA — Five more people in Fukushima Prefecture who were 18 and under at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident were diagnosed with thyroid cancer as of the end of September this year, a prefectural investigative commission announced at a Dec. 25 meeting.
Fukushima Prefecture established the commission to examine the health of residents after the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. A total of 159 Fukushima prefectural residents who were aged 18 and under when the meltdowns occurred have now been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
The commission stated on Dec. 25 that “it is difficult to think the cases are related to radiation exposure” from the disaster.
Unify efforts to spread accurate information about Fukushima Pref.
To accelerate the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture, where an accident occurred at a nuclear power plant, it is vital to have active, concerted efforts by the government.
The Reconstruction Agency has compiled a strategy of eradicating misconceptions and reinforcing risk-related communication regarding the post-disaster reconstruction of Fukushima. It will serve as a basic policy for the ministries and agencies involved with transmitting information, both at home and abroad, concerning the current state of Fukushima as well as its appeal.
Previously, the ministries and agencies dealt with individual problems through a sort of symptomatic treatment. It is hard to say that the agency, which is supposed to unify assistance to the affected areas, functioned sufficiently in taking measures against the damage wrought by misconceptions. With the ministries and agencies concerned coordinating under the same strategy, it is hoped that tangible results can be achieved.
Three points have been put forth as major pillars of the strategy: get people to know; get people to eat; and get people to come.
The strategy is based on the current situation in which biases and discrimination against Fukushima still remain. It is important for people to accurately understand the current situation on the basis of scientific data.
With regard to “getting people to know” Fukushima, measures will be taken to disseminate a correct understanding about radiation in the prefecture.
Messages to be transmitted via TV and the internet will convey such objective facts as: radiation exists in our daily life; the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant differs from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident; and radiation is not infectious.
Visiting is most effective
It will also be explained that the amount of radiation in the prefecture has declined to a level almost identical to that of other prefectures, except in the vicinity of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Bullying of schoolchildren who evacuated the prefecture also cannot be overlooked.
Through the strategy, revisions will be made to a supplementary reader on radiation for primary, junior high and high school students across the country. Training for teachers and board of education staff will also be increased. To protect children, it is first vital for teachers to correctly understand the effects and characteristics of radiation.
In “getting people to eat” Fukushima products, measures will be taken to tout the safety of agricultural and marine products produced in Fukushima. The current circumstances, in which products reach the market after undergoing strict inspection, will be conveyed to people.
Although nearly seven years have passed since the accident, these products are not priced in line with their quality. The per kilogram price of peaches grown in 2016 was ¥115 lower than the national average. The peaches were a popular product before the nuclear accident, thanks to such factors as Fukushima’s relative proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Countries such as South Korea still restrict the import of Fukushima products. The government, for its part, should tenaciously appeal to these countries to scrap their restrictions.
“Getting people to come” to Fukushima is also important. The impact on local tourism still remains. While the country’s tourism industry is thriving thanks to a surge in foreign visitors to Japan, the number of tourists to Fukushima hovers at about 90 percent of what it was before the accident.
Through the strategy, efforts will be made to transmit images that convey a positive impression of Fukushima through the internet and other mediums. A large number of people actually visiting Fukushima and understanding what it’s like — that can be considered the most effective measure against the problem of misconceptions.
Fukushima dairy farmers look to large-scale ‘reconstruction farms’ to revive battered industry
Dairy farmers in Fukushima Prefecture plan to build what they call “reconstruction farms” by fiscal 2020 as part of efforts to boost the industry in the areas tainted by the 2011 nuclear disaster.
The Fukushima Dairy Farmers’ Cooperative, their industry body, is eyeing three locations for the new farms — Minamisoma’s Odaka Ward, the town of Kawamata’s Yamakiya district and the village of Iitate — which residents were forced to flee after the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
The envisaged farms would host a combined 1,600 cows for milk production and also host a research and development hub for cutting-edge biotechnology, according to people familiar with the plan.
The introduction of milking robots for mass production is one of the key features of the plan. The dairy farmers will also tie up with Zenrakuren, the industry’s nationwide body, to improve R&D, the people said.
Under the plan, Minamisoma would raise some 1,000 cows, Kawamata would take care of 200 to 300 and Iitate 350. The Minamisoma site would become a mass distribution center with a cold storage facility for produced milk.
Other facilities to be built for the farms include a production center for nutrient-rich cattle feed and a research center for fertilized eggs. They will work toward producing high-quality breeds — not only milk cows but also wagyu.
The people familiar with the plan emphasized the benefits of scale that would result by combining the operations of each dairy farmer and minimizing the running costs. That would help stabilize their business, they said.
Last year, cattle feed production facilities started up in Minamisoma and Kawamata, with another in Iitate soon to follow suit to supply the new farms, they said.
Cooperation with academic circles is also within the scope of the new project. Fukushima University will offer a new course on related studies from April 2019, and the dairy farmers hope that cooperating with the university will help foster a new generation of human resources for the industry.
Minamisoma plans to build lodgings for students and researchers, including those from Fukushima University and other institutions from across the country. Dairy farmers who want to experiment with new business methods would also be welcome.
The cost of building the farms is estimated at around ¥12 billion. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is negotiating with the municipalities involved in the project and plans to make use of a central government subsidy for reconstruction projects.
According to the Fukushima Dairy Farmers’ Cooperative, large-scale farming is seen as the key to the industry’s future as the population grays, leaving farms with a lack of successors.
Within Fukushima, milk producers are aging fast, and slashing production costs is the top priority. Even if there are young dairy farmers with aspirations, there aren’t enough opportunities for them to start up, the cooperative said.
It also hopes that running large-scale farms with cutting-edge R&D functions would give consumers peace of mind about product safety by accurately grasping data related to radiation in milk and pasture grass.
In 2015, the Fukushima cooperative launched the prototype for a large-scale support base for local farmers in the city of Fukushima. But Minoru Munakata, the head of the cooperative, said the business environment remains harsh.
“We hope running mass-scale farms will lead to cutting costs. We will work to make it a success,” he said.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Horizon Nuclear’s Wylfa nuclear plan will increase UK’s radioactive trash by 80%

NFLA 15th Jan 2018, NFLA submission on radioactive waste elements of the reactor design for the
Wylfa B site – it could increase the UK inventory of radioactive waste by as much as 80%. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Welsh Forum has submitted its views to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on the radioactive
waste elements of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) design proposed for the Wylfa site in Anglesey.

The NFLA Welsh Forum has taken a very close eye with the proposed development of Wylfa B and has raised a number oftimes that a new nuclear reactor in Anglesey is not required. In March 2017it raised in detail concerns over the design of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor in reference to issues arising from the Fukushima disaster.

NRW is consulting on whether it will issue an environmental permit to Horizon Nuclear, wholly owned by Hitachi, for Wylfa B. This is concentrating now on issues around the radioactive waste that would be generated from such a
reactor, how it will be managed and stored and for how long it will remain on site.

NFLA Vice-Chair Councillor David Blackburn said: “This NFLA submission on Wylfa B’s radioactive waste programme has gone into much detail about the radioactive high burn-up fuel that would be produced from such a reactor, should it ever be built. Such waste would have to remain on site for as much as 160 years and Wylfa B alone could increase the current UK radioactive waste inventory by as much as 80%.

NFLA does not see such a waste burden being beneficial to the people of Anglesey or of Wales. There are far safer, less expensive alternatives that do not produce such hazardous materials as what Wylfa will generate. Wales would be far better off then to build solar, tidal, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energy facilities instead, with energy efficiency and energy storage solutionsadequate to deal with intermittency issues.”

January 16, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) search processes indicate Cumbria’s unsuitability for nuclear waste dumping

Cumbria Trust 15th Jan 2018, Tim Knowles, who chaired the last search process, known as Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) has changed his view since 2013 and no longer supports the idea of geological disposal of nuclear waste in Cumbria. He appears to share Cumbria Trust’s view that Cumbria does not have suitable geology, and that there are much better sites elsewhere in the country.

It is interesting that we have now had 2 search processes in Cumbria and both the Lead Inspector of the first Nirex process, and now the Chair of the second MRWS process have reached the same conclusion – that the search should move to an area of simple geology in the east or south of the country. Both of them want Cumbria to not volunteer again.

In a few months the national geological screening report will be published before councils are asked to volunteer for the third search process. We know that the GDF developer, Radioactive Waste Management, has decided to take
control of this report by producing the narrative itself, and our concern is that they may manipulate the output to suit their intention to return to Cumbria for a third time.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

What if there were a real attack on Hawaii?

Hawaii: Here’s what would happen if there was a real nuclear attack, ABC News 
By Anne Barker, 16 Jan 18, 
Consider the following scenario: a nuclear missile is launched from North Korea on a direct path for Honolulu.

For at least five minutes, Hawaiians are blissfully unaware of the danger.

Suddenly, the US Pacific Command detects the missile in mid-air and sends an alert to Hawaii’s State Warning Point, which instantly activates its public warning system.

Sirens begin blaring across the state and an alert is sent to mobile phones, radio and television.

Panicked residents and visitors have no more than 15 minutes to find somewhere to find cover — but there are no public fallout shelters.

Twenty minutes after launch, a nuclear bomb detonates 1,000 feet above the Hawaiian capital, and thousands are killed and many more are left with burns and radiation poison.

That exact scenario is being seriously considered

It’s the very real scenario Hawaiian authorities are preparing for, laid out in a document about the US state’s preparedness for a nuclear attack.

Although Saturday’s missile warning was a false alarm, US authorities believe there’s a very high likelihood that Hawaii — particularly Honolulu and the island of Oahu — would be the primary target of a North Korean nuclear attack.

The “Emergency Preparedness” document, published in November by Hawaii’s Emergency Management Authority, warns that Hawaiian residents and visitors would have “less than 12 to 15 minutes” to seek shelter in the event of a real nuclear missile threat.

Such an attack would “likely occur without prior warning”, it warns.

What would the toll be?

It says that a single-kiloton range nuclear weapon detonated at 1,000 feet could kill almost 18,000 people and cause 50,000 to 120,000 trauma and burn casualties.

As well as widespread building collapses and structural fires, up to 30 per cent of survivors would suffer acute radiation syndrome.

The document, while offering advice to residents on how to survive a nuclear attack, also confirms that Hawaii has no public fallout shelters or shelter supply caches.

Instead, it advises people to seek shelter in a building away from windows, or lie flat on the ground.

Hawaiians are unprepared

The actions of many panicked residents after Saturday’s false alarm were a far cry from what authorities recommend, and show just how unprepared Hawaii is for a North Korean nuclear missile attack…….

January 16, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

False alarm incident shows unpreparedness of Hawaii (and elsewhere?) for a nuclear attack

Missile-alert error reveals uncertainty about how to react, Hanford Sentinel, By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press, 15 Jan 18

    • HONOLULU (AP) — When Jonathan Scheuer got an alert on his phone of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii, he and his family didn’t know what to do. They went to their guest bedroom, then decided it would be safer on the ground floor of their Honolulu home.

“What do we do?” he wondered. “Where do we go?”

People should immediately seek shelter in a building “or other substantial structure,” once an attack-warning siren sounds, according to guidance the state distributed previously. The state recommends having 14-day survival kit of food and water.

 Residents and tourists alike remained rattled after the mistaken alert was blasted out to cellphones across the islands with a warning to seek immediate shelter and the ominous statement: “This is not a drill.”

“Clearly there is a massive gap between letting people know something’s coming and having something for them to do,” Scheuer said Sunday. “Nobody knew what to do.”……..

The blunder that caused more than a million people in Hawaii to fear that they were about to be struck by a nuclear missile fed skepticism about the government’s ability to keep them informed in a real emergency.

“My confidence in our so-called leaders’ ability to disseminate this vital information has certainly been tarnished,” said Patrick Day, who sprang from bed when the alert was issued Saturday morning. “I would have to think twice before acting on any future advisory.”……

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Coal and nuclear industries still pushing for taxpayer bailouts, despite knock-back from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC)

FERC rejected Perry’s plan, but coal and nuclear are still asking for bailouts is set to be the year that America decides if it values clean, affordable energy or political cronyism in its electricity markets.

TheFederal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) recent rejection of Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s plan to force electricity customers across the country to pay billions of dollars to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants is only the tip of the iceberg in the fossil fuel industry’s bailout efforts.

Today, there are still numerous proposals making their way through state legislatures, public utility commissions, electric market operators, and Congress that will unfairly prop up fossil fuel plants that can’t compete in America’s modern energy markets.

 These proposals are rooted in the entitled belief by fossil fuel billionaires that any competition that outperforms their lumbering, polluting power plants — especially clean energy resources like solar, wind, and energy efficiency — is somehow illegitimate.

The proposals themselves have gotten traction recently because over the past decade, clean energy resources have displaced hundreds of coal and nuclear plants as American customers have steadily cut down on their electricity usage and demanded cleaner, safer energy at a lower cost. As a consequence, these new resources have also created a vibrant clean energy economy that employs hundreds of thousands of workers.

Fossil fuel billionaires are fearful that this trend will create a permanent shift away from their dirty and dangerous energy, and are subsequently trying to force electricity customers to pay hundreds of millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars to prop up their plants.

The most egregious example of this political cronyism was Perry’s directive to FERC to create new rules that would have forced electricity customers to pay extra money for the energy produced by uneconomic coal and nuclear plants.

This expensive, foolish directive was rejected by FERC. Despite its failure, however, there are still numerous other proposals which are not as well publicized, but equally costly attempts by fossil fuel billionaires to prop up their plants.

Washington energy lobbyists, for example, have already been busy pushing coal tax credits and the extension of nuclear industry tax incentives in this year’s spending packages.

In Indiana, Sierra Club caught the state’s public utility commission approving a massive bailout of two coal-burning power plants for a local utility, NIPSCO, and is considering legal action to overturn it. The bailout came after uncontested NIPSCO data was revealed which showed that retiring the plants, instead of bailing them out, would save customers as much as $420 million.

In Ohio, FirstEnergy has tried for years, and is still trying, to get the state government to bail out its obsolete coal and nuclear plants that can’t compete with the Midwest’s legion of wind farms. Consumer and environmental advocates have defeated this bailout multiple times, but the utility keeps coming back to try again.

In the Great Plain states, reports show that throughout the region, utilities have been taking advantage of loopholes to force customers to bail out local coal plants to the tune of $300 million over a two year period in the Southwest Power Pool, home to abundant cheap wind power.

Electricity markets that are supposed to be competitive and open to all resources aren’t immune from efforts to rig the system against cleaner energy.

For example, on the same day FERC rejected Energy Department’s misguided proposal, New England’s market operator filed a proposal that would obstruct states’ rights to pursue cost-effective renewable energy projects and make it easier to prop up dirtier, costly power plants that should retire. PJM, which manages the electric system for much of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, has also threatened to override public policies for clean energy in order to raise consumer costs and bail out unnecessary power plants, despite a massive surplus of electric capacity.

This recent, ongoing wave of proposals to bailout coal and nuclear plants on behalf of billionaires is a very real threat that will stifle innovation, increase costs, and corrupt democratic processes that have served us well for decades.

The backlash against these bailouts has been overwhelming thus far, but it will only be effective if it can stop all of them in their tracks. A reliable, affordable, and clean energy future hangs on the decisions we make in 2018 and we must choose our decisions wisely.

Mary Anne Hitt is the director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

China’s Fissile Material Production and Stockpile

IPFM 12th Jan 2018, IPFM’s new research report “China’s Fissile Material Production and
Stockpile” (PDF copy) by Hui Zhang uses information from newly available
Chinese public sources to provide a more detailed and documented
reconstruction of China’s production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and
plutonium for nuclear weapons.

The report provides new evidence to constrain the operating histories for China’s Lanzhou and Heping gaseous
diffusion enrichment plants. Lanzhou stopped HEU production for weapons in 1980 and shifted to making low enriched uranium (LEU) for civilian power reactors and possibly for naval reactors. It was shut down on 31 December
2000 and in 2017 was demolished.

The Heping plant may still be operating but not producing HEU for weapons. China also has centrifuge enrichment
plants but they are believed not to produce HEU for weapons. The new report also offers new details on the operational experience of the Jiuquan and Guangyuan weapon plutonium production reactors. China also used these
reactors to produce tritium for weapons. The reactors were closed in the 1980s and have been undergoing decommissioning.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear And Shale Are Wrecking Britain

Impact4All 11th Jan 2018, ‘Nuclear And Shale Are Wrecking Britain’, Says Top UK Solar Boss.
Jeremy Leggett is the founder of Solar Century, an international solar
solutions company, and chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a
financial-sector think-tank warning of carbon-fuel asset-stranding risk to
the capital markets.

Here, he tells Alicia Buller why he hopes the ‘great
renewable energy transition will help bring truth to the fore’. As a
businessperson I know that that I could – rightly – be sent to jail for
telling a single lie to my stakeholders. The first VW executive just been
jailed ­– rightly – for telling one big lie as part of an
institutionalised fraud.

Yet politicians, particularly rightist populist
politicians, tell lies on an almost daily basis, backed and echoed by
like-minded media organs such as the Daily Mail, and there is no meaningful
recourse for civil society, as things stand. That pains me and I want to
see it changed.

My hope is that the unfolding of the great global energy
transition, with its many intrinsic social benefits, will help in that
wider process of societal recasting, bringing community, equality, and
truth to the fore.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Pope voices nuclear war concerns at he begins Latin America trip

SANTIAGO: Pope Francis admitted on Monday (Jan 15) he was frightened by the prospect of an accidental nuclear apocalypse, as he began a week-long visit to Chile and Peru to bolster a local Catholic Church riven by sex abuse scandals.

“I think we are at the very edge,” the pope told reporters aboard his plane when asked about the threat of a nuclear war in the wake of a recent string of tests by North Korea and a false missile alert last week that sparked panic in the US state of Hawaii.

“I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things,” he said.

The pope landed in Santiago late on Monday on his first visit to Chile since becoming pope, and his sixth to Latin America.

The 81-year-old Argentinian pontiff will find a very different Chile than the one he first encountered as a student priest in the 1960s.

Socialist President Michelle Bachelet has presided over major change in the once deeply conservative country, decriminalising abortion, recognising civil unions for same-sex couples and introducing a bill to legalise gay marriage.

Preparations for the visit have been overshadowed by a recent report that almost 80 members of the Chilean clergy have been accused of the sexual abuse of minors since 2000, more than half of them convicted by a Vatican court.

Protests are expected over Francis’ appointment of a bishop in the southern city of Ororno who is accused of covering up for Fernando Karadima, an influential priest whom the Vatican convicted of abusing children in 2011.

In a sign of growing exasperation at Church inaction, activists from several countries meeting in Santiago on Monday launched a new global organisation, Ending Clerical Abuse (ECA).

The organisation “seeks to stop child sexual abuse by the clergy,” said one of its founders, Jose Andres Murillo.

The body aims to form a group of prosecutors “to bring to court these crimes against humanity,” said Sara Oviedo, former vice president of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.


During his three days in Chile, Francis will meet with victims of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, while there are no formal plans to meet victims of pedophile priests.

Bachelet, who will meet Francis on Tuesday, has called on Chileans to welcome the pope, though a positive reception may not be universal.

On Friday, five Catholic Churches in the capital were attacked – three of them with firebombs – by what police said was an anarchist group. Demonstrations are planned by feminist and gay rights groups.

The highlight of the three-day visit will be an open-air mass in a Santiago park on Tuesday.

At another mass at the airport in Temuco, the capital of the impoverished southern Araucania region, Francis is expected to draw attention on Wednesday to state persecution of the indigenous Mapuche people and also meet members of the community.

The Mapuche – some seven percent of the Chilean population – inhabited a vast territory before the arrival of Spanish colonists in 1541, and have long protested the loss of ancestral lands.

During his visit to Chile, the pope will also meet representatives of the poor and young people, as well as visit a women’s prison.

Authorities expect nearly a million Argentines, Bolivians and Peruvians to visit Chile to see the pope.

Francis sent “warm greetings” to his native Argentina in a telegram to President Mauricio Macri as he flew over the country on his approach to Santiago, though he made no mention of a much-awaited visit.

The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires has now visited all of Argentina’s neighbors except Uruguay on official tours – Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay. Elsewhere in Latin America, he also travelled to Colombia and Ecuador.

The absence has raised questions in the Vatican and in Argentina.

Many consider that Francis’s homilies would be interpreted as carrying more political weight at home than may be acceptable, and – particularly given the pope’s defence of the poor – may be seen as pointed political attacks against Macri’s market-friendly austerity.

On Thursday, the pope will travel to Iquique in northern Chile, where he will preside over another open-air mass, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, before travelling on to Peru’s capital Lima.

Peru is in the throes of a political crisis sparked by a controversial pardon for ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses, as well as another abuse scandal involving the clergy.

Source: Reuters

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vancouver meet may achieve little in addressing North Korea nuclear crisis

Global Times
Li Jiayao


The US and Canada are bringing together foreign ministers from around 20 nations on Tuesday in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. It’s strange that many of the countries invited are not stakeholders in the situation, but those who participated under UN Command during the Korean War (1950-53). Washington seems to be reviving the long-forgotten multinational military alliance.

Yet the international community harbors little hope that the meeting can bear fruit as China, Russia and North Korea are not invited. There is widespread speculation about what the US hopes to achieve out of such a meeting.

The US and Canada were abruptly announced as co-hosts of the meeting on December 19 during US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Canada. Washington apparently has more intentions than simply reflecting on the 1950s war by bringing together nations that sent troops to the peninsula over 60 years ago while bypassing those highly relevant nations amid tensions in the region.

First of all, Washington wants to pressure Pyongyang by signaling that it is indeed preparing to use force. Those invited countries, no matter how many troops they sent, were participants in the Korean War.

Attending this meeting, they may not mean to repeat their actions, but Washington can thus tell Pyongyang that they stand ready to follow the US onto the peninsula.

Having had China and Russia demand it talk to North Korea, the US wants to justify the high pressure it has exerted on North Korea and get others’ endorsement for its policy on the peninsula.

Among the invitees are traditional US allies like Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and nations that have no relation to the nuclear issue but can be easily manipulated by the US, such as Ethiopia and Columbia.

While the US finds it too hard to manipulate the UN Security Council, with the Vancouver meeting Washington wants to highlight its dominant role in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and cripple the clout of China and Russia. Washington can say these 20-some nations stand for the international community to make its extremely hard-line stance against Pyongyang more legitimate.

But the meeting will likely accomplish little. Over the peninsula, only international decisions made under the UN framework are legal and valid. No one can stop the US from pressuring North Korea to the utmost, but Washington will eventually be held accountable if war breaks out or even worse, nuclear weapons are employed.

The Donald Trump administration may possibly be holding the Vancouver meeting for his domestic audience. With a more hawkish policy toward North Korea than previous administrations, Trump has pushed US-North Korea confrontation toward a high-stakes climax. Hawaii’s false missile alert on Saturday set off wide-scale panic. Washington needs more support for its policy from countries beyond Japan and South Korea.

The recent Seoul-Pyongyang détente over the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games has placed the Vancouver meeting in a somewhat awkward position. At such a meeting with ulterior motives and little authority, what attendees need to do is just clap their hands for the organizers.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste can cause high radiation levels and raise temperature levels.

Energy Business Review 12th Jan 2018,…..waste generated from nuclear activity can pose a
significant risk to the environment if it is not properly handled. The vast
amount of nuclear waste created by power plants can lead to high radiation
and raise temperature levels.

In recent years, many concerns have been raised over the disposal of radioactive waste and harmful radiations fromthe nuclear plants. The transmission of this radiation can cause a
potential damage to the surrounding atmosphere.

The cost of managing the nuclear waste is also high. The damage that could be caused by mishandling
of nuclear waste came into focus after the occurrence of Fukushima nuclear
disaster in Japan in 2011. Spent fuel rods were found to be one of the
major causes of the radioactive emission for the accident that took place
at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan.

The nuclear accident is considered as the second worst nuclear disaster in the
world. The Kyshtym nuclear disaster also occurred as a result of a
radioactive contamination accident that took place on 29 September 1957 at
Mayak, a plutonium manufacturing facility Russia for nuclear fuel
reprocessing plant of the Soviet Union. A failure of the cooling system
used for one of the tanks containing about 70–80 tons of liquid
radioactive waste had led to the accident. The event resulted in hundreds
of deaths of the people staying in nearby villages to the production site.

The various types of nuclear waste include uranium tailings, transuranic
(TRU) waste, low-level nuclear waste, intermediate-level waste, high-level
waste and spent fuel rods.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

University of California grilled over Los Alamos nuclear lab safety issues

UC grilled over LANL safety issues,, By Tris DeRoma, January 15, 2018 Three university systems went before the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Friday to tell the coalition once again why they would be the best candidate to take on the job of operating and managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | 1 Comment