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Ibaraki nuclear plant used erroneous fuel rod data for over 40 years, utility says

The Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture is seen in March 2017.
For more than 40 years, Japan Atomic Power Co. used erroneous data regarding the location of nuclear fuel rods within the reactor at its Tokai No. 2 power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, the company has said.
The information — which is used to plan for severe accidents — is necessary for regulatory safety screenings before the reactor’s restart can be approved.
Japan Atomic Power said Monday it will examine whether the data mishap has affected safety screenings.
The company said the data in question pertains to the distance between the top of the fuel rods and the bottom of the reactor. The distance was initially set to be 9,152 millimeters, but it was changed to 9,203 millimeters due to a change to fuel rod specifications during the design and construction process.
But the original figures were used since 1974. The problem was discovered on Jan. 11 by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, a government watchdog.
The plant, which started operations in November 1978, reached the standard operating life of 40 years this year.
Japan Atomic Power has filed for a 20-year extension. The plant must clear safety screening by November to be approved by the NRA for an extension.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

FUKUSHIMA: Where are the People? – Arnie Gundersen on the Ongoing Human Toll of the Nuclear Disaster

Please go listen his week’s feature on Nuclear Hotseat podcast:
Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, focuses on the human toll inflicted by the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. Recorded December 2, 2017, at DePaul University, at an event sponsored by Chicago’s Nuclear Energy Information Service, or NEIS.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Reconstruction Agency to Fold in 2021

Japan studies how to support 2011 disaster areas after Reconstruction Agency folds in 2021
Staff are seen at the Reconstruction Agency in Tokyo in February 2017.
The government has started work to determine how to support rebuilding efforts in areas of northeastern Japan hit by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster after the Reconstruction Agency is abolished in March 2021, sources said Tuesday.
The government has started by gathering views from 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, where a number of residents were forced to evacuate following the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The goal is to find out what support the municipalities expect from the central government, according to officials familiar with the matter.
The government aims to establish a basic assistance policy by the end of March 2020, chiefly by determining the roles of an organization that will succeed the agency, the officials said.
The agency was set up in February 2012 to take control of support for reconstruction efforts — particularly in severely damaged areas in the three Tohoku prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
It now has some 520 staff to support those affected and back business revitalization. It is also helping with the return of evacuees to their homes in Fukushima.
Legally, the agency cannot exist beyond March 2021, when the government-set reconstruction period for the disaster expires. But affected areas are still struggling. In Fukushima, evacuation advisories remain intact in some areas, prolonging recovery work even further.
The basic support policy and a blueprint for the successor organization will be finalized based on the results of the Fukushima survey, as well as talks with the Iwate and Miyagi prefectural governments and the ruling camp, the officials said.
The government hopes to see necessary legislation pass the Diet in 2020, they added.
One likely scenario regarding the successor body is setting up a department at the Cabinet Office to mainly support reconstruction efforts. But there are calls for creating a government agency to take charge of disaster prevention and reconstruction across the country, critics have said.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment


Are we stupid enough to forget that Tepco has always been lying since day one and that for now 7 years ?
Yesterday I was amazed to see a website which has been covering the Fukushima disaster for the past 7 years, suddenly for the first time complaining that Tepco is withholding some of the meltdown data collected during Tepco’s recent probe inside Fukushima reactor 2.
Amazed because that particular website has been posting now for the past 7 years only reposts of Tepco’s official reports as if those were the holy truth, never before questioning Tepco’s data to be reliable or not…
Come on where have you been ? All the serious Fukushima watchers who followed closely this ongoing disaster since its beginning know one sure fact:
Tepco has always been lying, that since day one. Lying twisting the facts and numbers, lying by omission, sometimes photoshopping their released photos and editing their video footages.
Those Tepco’s released reports have always been just the sweetened B.S. version that Tepco feeds us, wants us to swallow hook and sinker.
Their damage control, hired advertising and P.R. company, Dentsu corporation, coaching them to write and schedule those B.S. reports to cover-up the hard facts and numbers and to cushion the unsettled ongoing disaster facts to the eyes of the general public, locally, nationwide and internationally.
The nuclear industry has always been a lying business, covering up the hard facts and lying to the public. In that Tepco is no different than the other corporations involved in that harmful business. But since Tepco has been lying abundantly non-stop for now 7 years, it has developed it to an art form level, and for that Tepco rightly deserves the Pinocchio award of the nuclear industry.
A reminder, there is no independent commission on location, all the data coming out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant site are what they agree to feed us, after being properly vetoed by Tepco, the IAEA, the Japanese government, and Dentsu. So all the main stream media articles have the same one and unique source : Tepco.
So any information released by Tepco should be considered tainted and biased.
Tepco cannot successfully filter the accumulated radioactive water on site but it does efficiently filter all informations coming out from there, diluting the truth with lies so as  to cover up the real gravity of the situation on location.
Right from the beginning Tepco always lied, and still does, and I believe that Tepco will not change its modus operandi.
Only a fool would fully believe those Tepco’s B.S. reports to be true, as if they were Holy Bible, and keep reposting them helping thus to build Tepco’s credibility.
That website has been wasting 7 years helping Tepco to spread its B.S.
Such time would have been more usefully spent if used to spread the voices of the Fukushima victims on location and of the Tohoku residents organizing themselves to measure the radiation that they have now to live with.
It took that blogger on that website 7 years to finally notice that Tepco was witholding data ? Come on, stop being a moron !

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukui weighs new wave of reactors to protect status as Japan’s ‘nuclear capital’

Fukui Prefecture’s days as the center of Japan’s nuclear power industry might be fading with five reactors scheduled for decommissioning. These include the No. 1 (front) and No. 2 units at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi plant in Fukui, shown in this January 2017 photo.
OSAKA – With 13 commercial nuclear reactors — more than any other prefecture — Fukui has long been Japan’s nuclear power capital. Prior to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Fukui’s plants provided up to half of Kansai’s electricity.
As only two commercial reactors run by Kansai Electric Power Co. are in operation and a total of five Fukui reactors are scheduled to be decommissioned by midcentury, the prefecture’s days as a nuclear power center might appear to be ending. But despite the growing use of renewables, entrenched public opposition to atomic power, and unanswered questions about its future costs and economic competitiveness, Fukui’s nuclear-friendly utility executives and corporate leaders, as well as local politicians, have not given up on the idea of building even more reactors.
Earlier this month, Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa met with Kepco President Shigeki Iwane and Mamoru Muramatsu, the president of Japan Atomic Power Co., which runs two reactors at the Tsuruga plant in Fukui — including one scheduled for decommissioning.
They discussed building new reactors at Tsuruga — which have long been planned — and replacing Kepco’s decommissioned reactors with new ones. The meeting took place amid a review of the nation’s energy mix.
“What needs to be done by midcentury? We need to make this clear in the nation’s energy plans as we look to 2050,” Iwane said at a news conference afterward.
A couple of weeks later, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko told reporters that even without building new reactors or replacing old ones, Japan could meet its national goal of having atomic power provide between 20 and 22 percent of all electricity by 2030.
Nishikawa, traditionally a staunch supporter of nuclear power plants and the subsidies his prefecture receives for hosting them, has so far avoided coming out directly in favor of building new reactors.
He told reporters at the end of 2017 that he wasn’t going to wade into the debate of whether it was a good or bad idea. Instead, he said he was waiting for the central government’s view.
“The government needs to make clear what its stance is on new reactors. The main problem is gaining social trust for the use of nuclear power,” Nishikawa said.
That could be difficult. A survey by the Fukui Shimbun in October showed that 49.8 percent of respondents favored slowly exiting from nuclear power. Gaining national and local approval to build new reactors could take years.
Yet even if construction of new Tsuruga reactors goes ahead, it will likely be years, possibly decades, before they are completed at an unknown cost. In the interim, the use of renewables is expected to expand even more. Furthermore, as Japan’s population declines and uses more innovative energy-efficient products, predicting electricity needs in 10 — let alone 30 or so — years from now is problematic at best.
Adding reactors in Fukui will certainly increase the electricity supply for Kansai. But what pro-nuclear politicians and businesses in Fukui want now is assurances from Tokyo that they will still financially benefit from new reactors even if their output may not be needed or wanted by consumers.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Selective abortion and radioactive contamination in Japan

From November 2, 2015
The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th 2011. The tsunami reached shore 49 minutes later. Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant was hit and 7 minutes later lost all power and control over the reactors. We know now that 4 hours later, the nuclear meltdown had already started. The first explosion occurred one day after the loss of power.
Tragic environments that a thousands of children with disabilities and sicknesses live with as the result of the mega earthquake and the Tsunami followed by the nuke accident in Fukushima continues.  Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey reported the results of Thyroid Ultrasound Examination on 7 February 2014. 75 suspicious or malignant cases were found including 34surgical cases, one of benign nodules, 32 papillay adenocarcinoma, one suspicious for poorly differentiated cartinoma. Whenever Japanese parents fume over Fukushima radiation, they stressed their baby’s abnormality as the results of tragedy. And it has been long time debating the parental dilemma whether or not to have a baby from the fear of radiation after 311 in Fukushima.
From April 2013, government approved 26 flagship hospitals to conduct the noninvasive prenatal genetic testing (NIPT) which will results of increasing number of selective abortion of babies with disabilities, as same as phenomenological dilemma people in US were already faced.  Many people with disabilities have felt and do feel real threat to life. Violence against people with disability in Japan continues, or accelerates after 311.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Space travel damages astronauts’eyes

How does space travel affect the eye? Astronauts’ retinal nerves found damaged after months in orbit

The finding comes as Nasa continues to prepare for missions to Mars and beyond. By Shubham Sharma, As Nasa continues to prepare for manned deep-space missions to Mars and beyond, a new study has highlighted a major concern for the agency – the affect of long-term space travel on astronauts’ retinal nerves, which ultimately degrades their ability to see.Nearly 50% of astronauts report cases of vision impairment after spending a prolonged time in space, sometimes months or maybe years after returning to Earth. The cases vary from person to person but the new study, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology and reported by Live Science, factors something that could be the key trigger for these problems.

After studying pre- and post-flight optical scans of 15 astronauts who had spent around six months in space, researchers noted a significant change in their optic nerves, the delicate transmitter that takes visual information from the retina to the vision centres of the brain, helping a person register what they see.

As per the report, the analysis of Bruch membrane openings, the gaps at the back of the eyeball through which these nerves travel, revealed that their delicate tissues were significantly swollen and warped.

The critical damage was noted weeks after the astronauts’ return to Earth and has been touted as the first direct observational evidence that highlights the critical effect of long-term space travel on optic nerves. Some of the study subjects already had vision-related problems but the patterns in the deformity could not be ignored.

Though the actual cause of this condition remains unknown, the researchers believe it could be due to the difference between normal and cosmic pressures. According to them, when astronauts reach space, the pressure increases and the eyes take their time to adjust to that change. However, when they come back to Earth, the pressure goes down suddenly, which the eyes fail to deal with.

As of now, it cannot be said for certain if this is the exact reason, but whatever it may be, Nasa will have to study this problem carefully before going ahead with its deep-space missions. The success of any manned program, whether to the Moon, Mars or any other distant planet, will depend on astronauts and how they react to changes in their surroundings several thousand kilometres away from Earth.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | health, radiation, technology, USA | Leave a comment

With collapsed uranium market and nuclear stagnation, failed company AREVA rebrands itself

France’s Areva rebrands to Orano in dire uranium market, Geert De Clercq, PARIS (Reuters) 23 Jan 18,– French uranium mining and nuclear fuel group Areva rebranded itself as Orano on Tuesday, closing the book on a years-long restructuring but still facing an uncertain future, with uranium prices at decade lows and the nuclear industry in the doldrums.

Chief Executive Philippe Knoche said a new name and logo were necessary to start another chapter in the history of the state-owned company, which was split in two and recapitalized in 2017 after years of losses wiped out its equity.

“We had to change our name – we are a new company with a different perimeter, focused on the fuel cycle,” Knoche said at a presentation of the new brand.

Orano refers to uranium, the core of the firm’s business, and its new circular yellow logo references the yellowcake uranium concentrate that it extracts from the ore.

To mark the change – and reduce real estate costs by 10 million euros (8.78 million pounds) a year – Orano will move out of its prestigious Paris headquarters, a distinctive black-slab skyscraper inspired by the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

 The move is part of a plan to cut costs by about 250 million euros in the 2018-2020 period. With its nuclear reactor building unit sold to fellow state-owned utility EDF last year, Orano goes back to being a pure nuclear fuel company, similar to its predecessor Cogema, before it was merged into Areva.

Orano has net debt of close to 3 billion euros and by 2025 plans to invest about 2 billion euros in its plants and a similar amount in its mines, Knoche said.

The company aims to be cash-flow positive from this year, but Knoche said nothing about profit targets and admitted that market prices for uranium are too low to invest in new mines.

He said long-term contract prices for uranium were about $10 per pound higher than spot prices, but declined to say what price Orano needed to operate profitably in the long run.

Uranium prices are down 80 percent from a decade ago as Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster has led to a slowdown in reactor newbuilds and countries such as Germany abandon nuclear.

Knoche said Orano was banking on nuclear growth in Asia. He expects the firm to earn 30 percent of its turnover there by 2020, up from 20 percent last year.

Talks about selling a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant to China were “accelerating”, Knoche said, but would not give a deadline. Discussions about the project have been going on for a decade, while the price the firm hopes to get has fallen to around 10 billion euros from 15 billion euros.

 He said the reprocessing plant deal was not essential for Orano’s survival. This month, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the operation could “save” the French nuclear industry.

With an order book worth nearly eight years of turnover and solid business in service and maintenance for a large part of the world’s more than 400 nuclear reactors, Orano faces the prospect of rebuilding a profitable operation.

“We will do it with humility. That is why the name is written in lower case,” Knoche said.  Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Dale Hudson

January 24, 2018 Posted by | France, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Poll shows that Americans fear Trump’s ability to launch nuclear weapons, and doubt his mental stability

The majority of Americans are afraid of Trump’s ability to launch nuclear missiles. They also don’t have a lot of faith in his mental stability. Vox, By We may no longer be teaching American schoolchildren how to “duck and cover,” but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows the threat of nuclear war is once again on the minds of the American populace. A new poll finds most Americans don’t trust President Trump with the power to launch nuclear weapons, and a majority are at least “somewhat” concerned that he’ll launch an unjustified attack.

The poll comes less than a month after Trump’s tweet comparing the size of his “nuclear button” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s.

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to report fear, for example, with almost six in 10 Democrats saying they are “very concerned” about Trump ordering an unjustified nuclear attack, compared to about three in 10 independents and fewer than one in 10 Republicans.

Gender also plays a role, with twice as many women as men saying they are “very” concerned Trump could launch a nuclear attack — 42 percent versus 22 percent.

Those who are most concerned about him launching a nuclear attack without justification are also those who have the least confidence in his mental stability. Only 48 percent of respondents said they thought Trump was mentally stable when asked about the president’s description of himself as a “very stable genius.” Forty-seven percent, meanwhile, don’t think he’s mentally stable.

Eighty-four percent of those who say Trump is not mentally stable are at least somewhat concerned that he could launch an unwarranted nuclear attack, while 72 percent of those who say Trump is stable trust him to handle nuclear weapons………

January 24, 2018 Posted by | public opinion, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Wild boar in Sweden have record radiation levels – legacy of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Record radiation levels found in Swedish wild boar,   The Local, , @thelocalsweden, 23 January 2018

January 24, 2018 Posted by | environment, radiation, Sweden | Leave a comment

With big plans for new nuclear stations, Britain desperately trying to get volunteers to host waste dump

Guardian 21st Jan 2018, The government is expected this week to begin a nationwide search for a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste dump to store highly
radioactive material for thousands of years.

Britain has been trying for years to secure a site with the right geology and local communities which would volunteer to host a £12bn geological disposal facility (GDF), as a
long-term solution for the most dangerous waste from nuclear power

The last effort hit a brick wall in 2013 when Cumbria county
council, the only local authority still in the running as a host for the
dump, rejected it.

Now, ministers are to relaunch their mission to win over
a community to host the GDF. The task has taken on heightened importance
now that a nuclear power plant is under construction in Somerset, with
plans to build four others.

Radioactive Waste Management, the government
body tasked with building the facility hundreds of metres underground, said
it had made significant progress since 2014 in “developing the offer” to
interested communities. Consultations on the planning process and how the
government will work with communities will be launched this week, said two
sources close to the process. “I hope to God they get it right this time,”
said one. “The mess they made in the past can’t be repeated. It’s
outrageous it became a victim of local politics last time.”


January 24, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

USA will want to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal – Mike Pence

Mike Pence confirms US intention to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal, The US vice president’s visit to Israel has prompted anger from Palestinians over US policy in the Middle East. The Independent ,By Ken Thomas, January 23 2018 US vice president Mike Pence has reiterated to Israeli leaders that the Trump administration plans to pull out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal unless the pact is amended.

The remarks came as Mr Pence wrapped up his visit to Israel. On Monday, he repeatedly referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, speaking alongside the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also used a high-profile speech to the parliament to announce plans to speed up the timing of the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, moving it from Tel Aviv, by the end of 2019.

On Tuesday, Mr Pence met with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin and vowed the United States would counter the Iranian nuclear threat………

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Sweden’s Land and Environmental Court not satisfied with safety of planned nuclear waste repository.

Swedish regulators disagree on safety of nuclear waste plan, JANUARY 24, 2018 , Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, OSLO (Reuters)  JANUARY 24, 2018 – Sweden’s radiation safety authority (SSM) and an environmental court issued diverging recommendations to the government on Tuesday on whether to allow the construction of a nuclear waste repository.

While the SSM said the nuclear fuel and waste management company SKB should be allowed to go ahead with the plan, which may take 10 years to complete, the Land and Environmental court said it was not certain of the proposed repository’s safety.

“There is still uncertainty about the ability of the capsule to contain the nuclear waste in the long term,” the court said, adding that further documentation was required.

The final decision to approve or reject the facility, designed to store up to 12,000 tonnes of spent fuel from Sweden’s nuclear plants, will be in the government’s hands.

In a statement to Reuters, Environment and Energy Minister Karolina Skog said no decision would be made this year.

SKB, controlled by Sweden’s nuclear plant operators, applied in March 2011 to build the repository at Forsmark in southwest Sweden.

Eva Hallden, SKB’s director, said the firm would produce additional documentation, which it was confident would allay the safety concerns of the environmental court.

Sweden currently stores its spent nuclear fuel in an interim facility near the Oskarshamn nuclear plant.  Editing by Kevin Liffey

January 24, 2018 Posted by | politics, Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

World close to nuclear annihilation, but in denial – Dr Helen Caldicott

Helen Caldicott on Our Denial of the Threat of Nuclear Armageddon November 05, 2017 By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview  Since the corporate media give short shrift to the peril of nuclear weapons, most world residents are unaware of how close we are to nuclear annihilation. So argues advocate and physician Dr. Helen Caldicott, editor of Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation, in this interview with Truthout.
Mark Karlin: Despite Donald Trump’s insinuation that he might launch a first-strike nuclear attack on North Korea, the anti-nuclear weapons movement is still relatively quiescent. Do you have thoughts as to why most people on the Earth are “sleepwalking to Armageddon”?

Helen Caldicott: Yes. It’s because the US media has totally failed in its duty to educate and inform the American people about the current state of world affairs, including the current US plans for a winnable nuclear war and the huge nuclear arsenals still being maintained by Russia and America. As Thomas Jefferson said so long ago, “An informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion.” Of the 16,400 nuclear bombs in the world, Russia and the US own 94 percent — only they can destroy most life on Earth, so in reality, these two nations are today’s real terrorists.

Do you think the fact that the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons will bring the issue more to the forefront?

No I don’t. However, their strategy is wise and relatively subliminal. Already, 122 nations have committed to the pledge of nuclear abolition. This massive support will no doubt place pressure upon the NATO countries that harbor US tactical nuclear weapons — the Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Belgium — to forgo these commitments. This, then, will place further pressure upon other nuclear armed nations to abolish their nuclear stocks, including India, Pakistan, France, Britain, China, North Korea and Israel. Only then will international condemnation be so great that Russia and the US will be forced to contemplate abandoning their nuclear arsenals once and for all. Whether we have time before all hell breaks loose, nobody knows.

You state that the United States will spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years modernizing its nuclear arsenal. What exactly does that mean?

It means exactly that. In order for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) to pass the Senate, Obama promised then-Senator Jon Kyl that he would authorize the spending of $1 trillion over the next 30 years to replace every single nuclear weapon, missile, aircraft carrier, submarine, ship and plane.

How are corporations stirring the pot of militarizing international relations? Clearly, the military corporations have huge influence upon the House and Senate by funding the campaigns of the representatives, so in effect, most Congress people and senators … in a fundamental sense do not represent the health, well-being and lives of their constituents.

You comment that “an order to launch [nuclear weapons] in US missile silos is the length of a tweet.” How long does it take to launch a nuclear weapon?

Three minutes once the presidential order has been received. This is why the men in the missile silos are called Minutemen. [As described by former Minuteman ICBM launch control officer Bruce Blair here.]

What are some of the promising forms of resistance to nuclear weapons that are taking shape?

There are young people in many countries involved in the UN ban treaty; however, I see very little awareness in the general public about the fact that we are closer to nuclear war than we have ever been, and this according to former Secretary of Defense William Perry, retired Gen. James Cartwright and others highly knowledgeable and experienced in this area. Most people are in fact practicing psychic numbing and denial.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear systems: the grave risk of cyber attack


January 24, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment