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Comparison study of calculated beta- and gamma-ray doses after the Fukushima accident in Minamisoma: skin dose estimated to be 164 mSv over 3 years

Comparison of calculated beta- and gamma-ray doses after the Fukushima accident with data from single-grain luminescence retrospective dosimetry of quartz inclusions in a brick sample
Journal of Radiation Research,
Published: 27 January 2018


To estimate the beta- and gamma-ray doses in a brick sample taken from Odaka, Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, a Monte Carlo calculation was performed with Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System (PHITS) code. The calculated results were compared with data obtained by single-grain retrospective luminescence dosimetry of quartz inclusions in the brick sample. The calculated result agreed well with the measured data. The dose increase measured at the brick surface was explained by the beta-ray contribution, and the slight slope in the dose profile deeper in the brick was due to the gamma-ray contribution. The skin dose was estimated from the calculated result as 164 mGy over 3 years at the sampling site.


The main fission products from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident are 129mTe-129Te, 131I, 132Te-132I, 134Cs, 136Cs and 137Cs [1–4]. These radionuclides emit gamma rays and beta rays through β− decay. However, there are few studies about dose estimation from beta-ray irradiation following the FDNPP accident [5–7]. The beta-ray dose contributes to the whole-body dose among small biota, such as insects, plant leaves, and human skin. Therefore, beta-ray dose estimations are important for the risk assessment of the impact of the FDNPP accident (including on small biota) to clarify the effects of this large-scale radiological accident.
Retrospective dosimetry with brick samples has been used to evaluate the gamma-ray dose of the Hiroshima atomic bomb [8–10], the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident [11–14], and the Semipalatinsk nuclear weapon testing [15, 16]. Recently, Stepanenko et al. [17] used retrospective dose evaluation of brick samples to estimate gamma-ray doses and perform beta-ray dose reconstruction for the FDNPP accident with a similar method to that used for a Hiroshima tile sample [18]. They used a single-grain quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) method (similar to that of Ballarini et al. [19], although layer-by-layer consequences for very thin layers of the sample’s aliquots were used for analysis, with separate dose calibration for each quartz grain) with brick samples taken in 2014 from Odaka, Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan [17]. Dose enhancement near the surface of the brick was identified by the OSL measurements [17]. Stepanenko et al. suggested that the enhancement was caused by the beta-ray dose from the deposited fission products [17].
To establish the cause of the dose enhancement near the brick surface, we performed a Monte Carlo simulation of a small brick building with radionuclides uniformly distributed on the ground surface. The calculated results were compared with the data measured by Stepanenko et al. [17]. The depth profiles of the dose in the brick sample for beta rays and gamma rays were estimated separately, and the dose enhancement near the brick surface was discussed.
Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System calculation
The energy deposition as a function of depth in the brick wall of a small building was calculated using the Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System (PHITS) Monte Carlo code Ver. 2.52 [20]. The calculation geometries are shown in Fig. 1. The calculation regions were 1 m × 1 m for beta rays and 21 m × 21 m for gamma rays. The calculation regions consisted of ground, air, and the small brick building (red region: 0.5 m × 0.5 m square, 1.5 m high, wall thickness of 10 cm). The brick building was located in the center of the soil surface. Beta- or gamma-ray sources were uniformly distributed in the 5-mm-thick soil surface (brown region). To save calculation time, the previously reported mirror condition was used for these calculations [21]. Figure 1a shows the geometry used to calculate the radiation that entered the calculation region (outer source calculation) via the mirror boundary. First, the histories for the particles were accumulated near the mirror boundary (green lines) without the brick building. Second, the particles were generated from the mirror boundary (back line) in Fig. 1b according to the accumulated histories. The generated particles were transported to the brick wall cells (yellow box) of the brick building. Third, radiation was generated from the surface of the 5-mm-thick soil layer (brown region) in the calculation region (inner source calculation) in Fig. 1b. The energy deposition in brick cell layers of 10 m × 10 cm and thicknesses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 1, 3, 5, 7.5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 mm were obtained by summing the outer and inner source calculations corrected with the number of particles generated per unit area.



(a) Mirror condition calculation, (b) top view and (c) side view of the calculation geometry.

Beta and gamma rays from 129mTe, 129Te, 131I, 132Te, 132I, 134Cs and 137Cs were calculated separately. Beta-ray energy spectra were taken from the literature [5], and the internal conversion electrons of 137Cs were taken from the website of the National Nuclear Data Center [21]. The gamma-ray energies and emission rates for the radionuclides were taken from the National Nuclear Data Center [22].
The elemental composition of the brick sample was Si: 28.9, Si: 50.4, Al: 17.5, Fe: 1.4 and Ti: 1.8 wt %, and those of soil and air were taken from the literature [8].
Air dose and tissue dose calculation
The air and tissue dose rates at the i-th depth per unit deposition density of 1 Bq/m2, Dijk (Gy Bq−1 s−1 m2), for beta and gamma rays, were calculated from the calculated results of the energy deposition in brick as:
(1) where Eijk is the energy deposition (J) at the i-th depth by beta or gamma rays from the k-th radionuclide, mb is the brick sample mass (kg), and aj is the area of the source (0.75 and 1 m2 for inner and outer beta calculations, 440.75 and 441 m2 for the inner and outer gamma calculations, respectively). Ij is the emission rate for beta or gamma rays per Bq and fc is the conversion factor of the stopping power ratio [23] for beta rays and the kerma ratio [24] for gamma rays between air or tissue and brick to convert from the brick dose to the air or tissue doses.
Cumulative dose estimation
The dose rate at the sampling point can be calculated by the measured deposition density, Ak, for each radionuclide at the sampling point of Odaka, Minami-Some City by multiplying the calculated result by Eq. 1. The change in dose rate over time is assumed to depend only on the half-lives of the radionuclides. Therefore, the cumulative dose, Ditot, for the i-th depth can be integrated by:
(2) where Tk is the half-life for each radionuclide of k = 129mTe, 129Te, 131I, 132Te, 132I, 134Cs and 137Cs (Table 1), and τ is the time period from deposition to the brick sampling date.


Capture du 2018-01-27 19-32-40


Calculated dose rate for beta and gamma rays
A 137Cs deposition density of 308 kBq/m2 and the ratio of each radionuclide to 137Cs deposition density taken from the literature [1] were used to obtain Ak for each radionuclide. The deposition densities for the seven radionuclides are listed in Table 2. The beta-ray dose rates on the brick surface and gamma-ray dose rate at a depth of 0.5 mm in the brick at a height of 80 cm are shown in Fig. 2a and b, respectively. 129m, 129Te contributed less to the gamma-ray dose rate, and accounted for the third and fourth largest contribution to the beta-ray dose rate. This is due to the small gamma-ray emission rate per decay of 129m, 129Te of <10%. The gamma- and beta-ray doses decreased by ~10% and ~30%, respectively, over 1 month. The calculated beta-ray dose rate decreased slower than the calculated gamma-ray dose rate.


Capture du 2018-01-27 19-34-49.png

Capture du 2018-01-27 19-36-45.png

Capture du 2018-01-27 19-39-01

Air dose rates of (a) beta rays and (b) gamma rays over time.

Beck reported conversion factors for various radionuclides to estimate the air dose rate at a height of 1 m from the unit deposition density of radionuclides [25]. The initial gamma-ray air dose rates (15 March 2011) at a height of 80 cm from the ground for each radionuclide obtained by our calculations were compared with the values estimated by Beck conversion factors [25] interpolated at a relaxation depth of 0.65 g/cm2 (Table 2). The present dose rates were estimated to be 57% lower than those calculated by Beck conversion factors. The present dose rates were in-brick values in one of the walls of the brick building, whereas the Beck conversion factor values were free-in-air values. Therefore, the difference of 57% can be explained by shielding effects, whereby gamma rays from behind the building are neglected.
Cumulative dose
The cumulative dose over 3 years, from 12 March 2011 (Unit 1 explosion) to 19 March 2014 (brick sampling by Stepanenko et al.) and the dose rate change over time are shown in Fig. 3. The solid line shows the calculation result, the dashed histograms are the averaged calculation values for the measured sample thickness, and the open circles are Stepanenko’s data [17]. The calculation agreed well with the data measured by Stepanenko et al. in the region deeper than 10 mm. The results indicated that the cumulative dose deeper in the brick was due to gamma rays, and that the dose enhancement at the surface was dominated by the beta-ray contribution. The difference between the calculated and measured doses at the surface was about 2 standard deviations. A possible explanation might be connected with the contributions of low γ emission rate radionuclides, such as 89Sr, 127mTe-127Te, 140Ba-140La, etc. However, the trend in the dose increase at the brick surface was supported by the calculations. Therefore, the single-grain OSL measurement by Stepanenko et al. shows the advantage of dose estimations not only the cumulative gamma-ray dose but also the cumulative beta-ray dose. Thus, we concluded that the single-grain OSL method is a good tool for retrospective beta-ray dose estimation.


Capture du 2018-01-27 19-42-01.png

Comparison of the calculated beta rays (chain line), gamma rays (dotted line), beta + gamma rays (solid line), dose averaged over sample depth (dashed histogram), and data measured by Stepanenko et al. (open circles).


The calculated tissue dose at a brick depth of 50 μm was assumed to be a skin dose, and would be similar to a 70-μm tissue dose. The skin dose was estimated to be 164 mSv for 3 years at the sampling location.


To confirm the cause of the dose enhancement near the surface of a brick sample taken from Odaka, Minami-Soma City, Japan, a Monte Carlo calculation was performed using PHITS code and the calculated results were compared with measurements. The calculated results agreed well with previously published measured data. The dose enhancement at the brick surface in the measured data was explained by the beta-ray contribution, and the gentle slope in the dose profile deeper in the brick was due to the gamma-ray contribution. The calculated result estimated the skin dose to be 164 mGy (164mSv) over 3 years at the sampling location.



January 27, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Error or Calculated Revisionism?

From Majia’s Blog
I was reading a Mainichi news story this morning on airborne radiation levels near Fukushima Daiichi, which remain quite elevated.

What struck me about the reported story is the assertion that the government set the radiation exposure level at 1 millisievert a year after the accident:

Airborne Radiation Near Fukushima Nuke Plant Still Far Higher Than Gov’t Max. (Jan 18, 2018) The Mainichi

Following the March 2011 triple meltdown, the government set a long-term radiation exposure limit of 1 millisievert per year, which breaks down to an hourly airborne radiation dose of 0.23 microsieverts.  The NRA took airborne radiation readings in the Fukushima Prefecture towns of Futaba, Okuma, Namie and Tomioka, and the village of Katsurao. The highest reading registered in the previous year’s survey was 8.89 microsieverts per hour, in Katsurao.

What I find confusing and disconcerting is the fact that the government set the radiation level after the accident at 20 millisieverts a year, not 1.

Was a simple error involved in the reporting here? Or is revisionism under way?

One way I’ve seen propaganda operate over the last five years is for an untruth to be planted and repeated over and over again until it becomes part of the public record as a “truth.”

Yet, the 20 millisievert a year limit has circulated widely in the media as well and will be difficult to replace (e.g., see here

Was this an error or is it something else entirely?


January 27, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Unit 2 in the News Again

From Majia’s Blog

TEPCO tells us they have identified the remains of “part of a nuclear fuel assembly” scattered at the bottom of unit 2’s containment vessel:

CHIKAKO KAWAHARA January 20, 2018 Melted nuclear fuel seen inside No. 2 reactor or at Fukushima plant. The Asahi Shimbun

A remote-controlled camera captured what appears to be melted fuel inside a reactor of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The released footage showed pebble-like nuclear fuel debris and part of a nuclear fuel assembly scattered at the bottom of a containment vessel, located just below the pressure vessel.

Where is the rest of the fuel?

Fukushima’s reactor 2 held quite a bit more than a single fuel assembly. According to a November 16 report by TEPCO titled, ‘Integrity Inspection of Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuel at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station,’ as of March 2010 the Daini site held 1,060 tons of spent uranium fuel. The total spent uranium fuel inventory at Daiichi in March 2010 was reported as 1,760 tons. The 2010 report asserts that approximately 700 spent fuel assemblies are generated every year. The report specifies that Daiichi’s 3,450 assemblies are stored in each of the six reactor’s spent fuel pools. The common spent fuel pool contains 6291 assemblies.

Unit 2 has been in the news. Last February, Akio Matsumura described a potential catastrophe at Unit 2:

Akio Matsumura (2017, February 11). The Potential Catastrophe of Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi: What Effect for the Pacific and the US? Finding the Missing Link,, accessed November 20, 2017

It can hardly be said that the Fukushima accident is heading toward a solution. The problem of Unit 2, where a large volume of nuclear fuels remain, is particularly crucial. Reactor Unit 2 started its commercial operation in July 1974. It held out severe circumstances of high temperature and high pressure emanating from the March 11, 2011, accident without being destroyed. However, years long use of the pressure vessel must have brought about its weakening due to irradiation. If it should encounter a big earth tremor, it will be destroyed and scatter the remaining nuclear fuel and its debris, making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable.

Unit 2 has been in the news because of persistent high radiation levels. In Feb 2017, TEPCO reported measuring radiation levels of 530 SIEVERTS AN HOUR (10 will kill you) and described a 2-meter hole in the grating beneath unit 2’s reactor pressure vessel (1 meter-square hole found in grating):

Radiation level at Fukushima reactor highest since 2011 disaster; grating hole found. The Mainichi, February 2, 2017,

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The radiation level inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex stood at 530 sieverts per hour at a maximum, the highest since the 2011 disaster, the plant operator said Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. also announced that based on image analysis, a hole measuring 2 meters in diameter has been found on a metal grating beneath the pressure vessel inside the containment vessel and a portion of the grating was distorted.

…The hole could have been caused by nuclear fuel that penetrated the reactor vessel as it overheated and melted due to the loss of reactor cooling functions in the days after a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 hit northeastern Japan.

According to the image analysis, about 1 square meter of the grating was missing. 

This extraordinarily high radiation in unit 2 was reported by the Japanese media in January 2017 as presenting a barrier to the decommissioning timeline:

MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA (January 31, 2017) Images indicate bigger challenge for TEPCO at Fukushima plant. The Asahi Shimbun,

If confirmed, the first images of melted nuclear fuel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant show that Tokyo Electric Power Co. will have a much more difficult time decommissioning the battered facility.

The condition of what is believed to be melted fuel inside the No. 2 reactor at the plant appears far worse than previously thought.

…High radiation levels have prevented workers from entering the No. 2 reactor, as well as the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors at the plant.


Looking back at testimony by Masao Yoshida, Fukushima’s plant manager, and media coverage of that testimony, I see that unit 2 was identified as posing the greatest immediate risk, although the explosion at unit 3 was clearly larger (this discrepancy is perplexing).  Here is an excerpt of the testimony published by the Asahi Shimbun:

Yoshida feared nuclear ‘annihilation’ of eastern Japan, testimony shows. (September 12, 2014) THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Plant manager Masao Yoshida envisioned catastrophe for eastern Japan in the days following the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to his testimony, one of 19 released by the government on Sept. 11. . . .

. . . In his testimony, Yoshida described the condition of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima plant between the evening of March 14, 2011, and the next morning: “Despite the nuclear fuel being completely exposed, we’re unable to reduce pressure. Water can’t get in either.”

Yoshida recalled the severity of the situation. “If we continue to be unable to get water in, all of the nuclear fuel will melt and escape from the containment vessel, and radioactive substances from the fuel will spread to the outside,” he said. Fearing a worst-case scenario at the time, Yoshida said, “What we envisioned was that the entire eastern part of Japan would be annihilated.”

You can read more excerpts from the 400-pages of testimony published by the Asahi Shimbun, which both applauds and critiques the panel investigation of the disaster that produced the testimonies:

The Yoshida Testimony: The Fukushima Nuclear Accident as Told by Plant Manager Masao Yoshida The Asahi Shimbun

Although the panel interviewed as many as 772 individuals involved, it failed to dig deep into essential aspects of the disaster because it made it a stated policy that it would not pursue the responsibility of individuals.

What is true about unit 2? Yoshida provides this account from the article cited immediately above:

At around 6:15 a.m. on March 15, 2011, four days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a round table presided by Yoshida in an emergency response room on the second floor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s quake-proof control center building heard two important reports, almost simultaneously, from front-line workers.

One said that pressure in the suppression chamber, or the lower part of the containment vessel for the No. 2 reactor, had vanished. The other said an explosive sound had been heard.

Question: Well, this is not necessarily in the No. 2 reactor, but sometime around 6 a.m. or 6:10 a.m. on March 15, pressure in the No. 2 reactor’s suppression chamber, for one thing, fell suddenly to zero. And around the same time, something …

Yoshida: An explosive sound.

January 27, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Macho Madness – nuclear history – theme for February 18

The nuclear industry was born in macho madness – and has stayed that way ever since.

If women had equal say –   had any say – things might have been different.

January 27, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 3 Comments

The week that was in nuclear news

On January 25th, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved the minute hand of the  symbolic Doomsday Clock ahead by 30 seconds – to just two minutes before midnight.The clock, created by the journal in 1947, is a metaphor for how close mankind is to destroying the Earth.  It is now the closest to the apocalypse it has been since 1953. – the year when the US and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs. The team of scientists made this decision based on several factors. These included North Korea’s nuclear tests, the war of words between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, America’s expanding nuclear arsenal, and rising tensions between Russia and the West.

The Bulletin pointed to climate change as an equally catastrophic danger, even if less immediate.

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

Donald Trump has set USA on a course for nuclear war – George Soros at World Economic Forum in Davos.

Renewable Energy. Once more – there’s lots of news, Best source is .

Nuclear systems: the grave risk of cyber attack.

Nuclear medicine doctors need protection from genetic damage from radiation.


JAPAN. Ibaraki nuclear plant used erroneous fuel rod data for over 40 years, utility says.  Fukui weighs new wave of reactors to protect status as Japan’s ‘nuclear capital’.   Japan’s Reconstruction Agency to Fold in 2021.  Selective abortion and radioactive contamination in Japan. Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 2: new investigation. Insufficient testing will mean playing radiation roulette for the consumers.

UK. UK’s £1m a year bribes to communities to host nuclear waste.  With big plans for new nuclear stations, Britain desperately trying to get volunteers to host waste dump. Cumbria Trust reminds UK nuclear lobby that hosting nuclear waste is a VOLUNTARY process UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) wants to raise permissable levels of radiation release. Hinkley Point C to get £14bn from UK and Japanese taxpayers – despite ever-cheaper renewables.  UK new nuclear build would create an intolerable waste burden on communities into the far future.

SWEDEN. Swedish Environmental Court rejects plan for spent nuclear fuel repository.  Wild boar in Sweden have record radiation levels – legacy of Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

AUSTRIAAustria sues European Commission over Hungary’s nuclear plant.

FRANCE.   With collapsed uranium market and nuclear stagnation, failed company AREVA rebrands itself.   Macron’s France weakening on plans to phase out nuclear power? France plans to phase out nuclear power without increasing carbon emissions.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa has no money for nuclear power: says  Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

CANADA. Ontario’s nuclear dreams no match for the reality of falling electricity demand. Quebec Labour Tribunal rules in favour of man who claims he developed cancer from radiation at work.

UKRAINE. The unpublicised un-safety problem – Ukraine’s nuclear industry.

January 27, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Donald Trump has set USA on a course for nuclear war – George Soros at World Economic Forum in Davos

Soros: Trump has US ‘set on a course towards nuclear war’ CNBC ,  Jeff Cox26 Jan 18 

  • Billionaire investor and political activist George Soros said President Donald Trump has the U.S. set on a course for nuclear war with North Korea.
  • Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros said Trump is trying to establish a “mafia state” in the U.S. but has failed so far.
  • The progressive activist said he sees the president’s place in the world as “temporary” and likely to “disappear in 2020 or even sooner.”

President Donald Trump has the U.S. on course for a nuclear war with North Korea, billionaire investor and progressive political activist George Soros said Thursday.

In a blistering critique of the country under Trump’s leadership, the head of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations painted a bleak picture.

“The fact of nuclear war is so horrendous that we are trying to ignore it, but it is real,” Soros said during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Indeed, the United States is set on a course towards nuclear war by refusing to accept that [North] Korea has become a nuclear power.”

 “This creates a strong incentive for North Korea to develop its nuclear capacity with all possible speed, which in turn may induce the United States to use its nuclear superiority pre-emptively, in effect to start a nuclear war to prevent a nuclear war, obviously a self-contradictory strategy.”

That wasn’t the only place Soros attacked Trump.

He compared the president to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, saying Trump also would like to create a “mafia state” that suppresses individual rights. He can’t “because the Constitution and the institutions and a vibrant society won’t allow it.”

Soros said he is using his foundation and the billions at his disposal to “protect the democratic achievements of the past……..


January 27, 2018 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Quebec Labour Tribunal rules in favour of man who claims he developed cancer from radiation at work

Tribunal rules in favour of man who claims he developed cancer from radiation at work Staff , January 26, 2018  The labour tribunal in Quebec has ruled in favour of a Trois Rivieres man who says he developed “aggressive” cancer from radiation exposure at work.

As the director of quality control at a sugar refinery previously known as Sucre BBR, Michel Plante used an X-ray machine to ensure the sugar was free of metal. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014, and underwent surgery.  Less than a year later, he was also diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Plante is now taking legal action because he claims his workplace made him sick. His claim is backed by the labour tribunal, which recently ruled that there’s reason to believe the X-ray machine exposed Plante to unsafe amounts of radiation.

After the X-ray machine Plante used at work was sold to a company in Ontario, it was tested and determined to be emitting higher levels of radiation than permitted.  Plante’s lawyer, Sophie Mongeon, said the objective of the legal action is “not financial.”  “Our objective is purely for the workers,” she told CTV Montreal.

Radiation oncologist Dr. Bernard Fortin, who studied the files related to Plante’s case, said he agrees that the workplace radiation exposure was unsafe.

“Even if the cancer was not related to the radiation exposure, (Plante) must have been exposed, and that’s not OK,” Dr. Fortin told CTV Montreal………

January 27, 2018 Posted by | Canada, Legal | Leave a comment

Nuclear medicine doctors need protection from genetic damage from radiation

Radiation damage to any cells but the reproductive organs. Genetic damage. Damage to the reproductive cells. Birth defects may result.

Genetic damage from radiation highlights need to protect physicians in cath lab, Cardiovascular Business, Jan 12, 2018 | Daniel Allar A pair of studies published in October added to the growing literature on the harmful effects of radiation exposure to interventional cardiologists in the cath lab.

January 27, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Is a Better American Nuclear Arsenal Good for the Asia-Pacific?

U.S. modernization efforts risk sparking a nuclear arms race with China. The Diplomat, By Kim Mu Kwan (Harry) 26 Jan 18,  Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been a leader of nuclear disarmament efforts. It gradually reduced its nuclear weapons stockpile through a series of arms reduction treaties with Russia. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama also affirmed “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

However, the United States still has an inexplicably large number of nuclear weapons. It maintains an arsenal of 1,393 strategic warheads deployed on 660 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), 240 Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), 20 of which are on 12 Ohio-class submarines, and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) equipped on 18 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers and 76 B-52H bombers.

In addition, contrary to global disarmament efforts, the United States recently began modernizing its nuclear arsenal. The Department of Defense (DOD) seeks to maintain and upgrade the country’s aging nuclear triad – IBCMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the current modernization plans for U.S. nuclear forces would cost $400 billion between FY 2017 and FY 2026.

The Trump administration’s nuclear posture review is yet to be published (though a draft leaked earlier this month). However, it is hard to imagine his administration will discontinue this modernization effort. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly expressed his frustration about the “very terrible shape” of the country’s nuclear arsenal. He also has said he is preparing to have the arsenal in “tip-top shape,” though he denied reports that he wants a tenfold increase in the nuclear arsenal

This modernization effort not only undermines global disarmament efforts but also will force China to reevaluate its nuclear doctrine and reinvigorate its nuclear arsenal in order to maintain deterrence against the United States. China’s response could pose a serious threat to global disarmament efforts, U.S. national security, and regional stability in the Asia-Pacific………

the United States’ modernization of its nuclear arsenal is likely to make China rethink its relatively small nuclear arsenal and defensive-oriented nuclear doctrine. …….

January 27, 2018 Posted by | ASIA, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How to impose a radioactive trash dump UK style – bribe communities and bypass local authorities

Times 26th Jan 2018, Communities will receive up to £42 million if they agree to consider
hosting an underground nuclear waste dump. They can keep the money even if
they ultimately decide against it, under government plans. The payments,
which will be spread over 20 years, are aimed at persuading communities to
engage in the process of selecting and testing a site that will store
enough radioactive waste to fill the Albert Hall six times.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said more than one community
could receive the funding, with each being given up to £42 million. The
proposals appear to weaken the power of county councils, making it harder
for them to prevent a community from agreeing to host the £19 billion
“geological disposal facility” (GDF).

A consultation document states
the final decision will be subject to a “test of public support”, which
could be a local referendum. The right to vote in the referendum could be
restricted to a small area around the proposed site.

Cumbria is still  viewed as the most suitable location because of the ease of transporting
waste at Sellafield and the willingness of the community. However, other
areas with ageing or decommissioned nuclear plants have been suggested,
including Dungeness, Kent, and Hartlepool, in Co Durham. Doug Parr, of
Greenpeace, said: “Having failed to find a council willing to have
nuclear waste buried under their land, ministers are resorting to the
tactics from the fracking playbook — bribing communities and bypassing
local authorities.”

January 27, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, spinbuster, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Not Even the Briefest of Pauses for Human-Forced Global Warming — Oceans During 2017 Were the Hottest on Record


Where does most of the heat trapped by human fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions ultimately end up? Given our fixation on global surface temperatures, many people would say ‘the atmosphere.’ But this answer is incorrect. The vast majority ends up in the world ocean.

(Global change in ocean heat content through 2015. Image source: Skeptical Science and CMIP5.)

The world ocean system is the largest heat sink on our planet’s surface. This is due to the fact that liquid water contained in the oceans both has a far greater mass and overall heat capacity than the atmosphere. Just a fraction — less than 1/30th of the heat trapped by human-emitted greenhouse gasses ends up in the atmosphere. Similar portions end up getting soaked in by the land and by melting glaciers. The rest, about 90 percent, finds its way into the oceans.

The ocean is thus the…

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January 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France plans to phase out nuclear power without increasing carbon emissions

PARIS (Reuters) 27 Jan 18, – France will not increase carbon emissions as it reduces its reliance on nuclear energy in coming years, a junior minister told energy newsletter Enerpresse.

The centrist government of French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a year-long debate about energy policy before deciding in early 2019 on the future share of nuclear energy in France’s power production. It now stands at 75 percent.

To assist discussions, grid operator RTE has prepared scenarios for cutting nuclear energy’s share from 56 percent to 11 percent by 2035, and an additional scenario on reducing nuclear reliance to 50 percent by 2025.

 Environment activists complain that the government has withheld scenarios cutting back nuclear capacity the most, when it held workshops this month to prepare for the public debate.

Junior Energy and Environment Minister Sebastien Lecornu told Enerpresse the scenarios that would lead to the construction of new thermal power stations were held back.

“We are clear about what we want for the energy mix, the increase of carbon emissions is not an option for us,” he said.

France would not build more plants powered by coal or fuel oil, he said, but said the government would consider whether there was a role for gas, which has lower emissions than coal or other fossil fuels.

Lecornu’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sustainable energy advocacy group NegaWatt said on Thursday the most ambitious scenarios for reducing nuclear reliance could be achieved without boosting CO2 emissions provided there was a stronger focus on energy efficiency and if the nuclear reactors had their lifespans’ extended a little beyond 40 years.

 The majority of EDF’s nuclear reactors were connected to the grid between 1980 and 1990. Closing them all promptly after 40 years, their scheduled lifespan, would cut so much capacity that France would have to build new gas plants to fill the gap.

EDF wants to extend the lifespan of its reactors to 50 years, but will need approval of nuclear regulator ASN for each reactor. The ASN has said it will rule on the principle of lifespan extensions in 2021.  Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Edmund Blair

January 27, 2018 Posted by | climate change, France, politics | Leave a comment

Kim Jong Un has blown almost his entire inheritance on missile tests

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS

Kim Jong-un has blown family cash on missile tests and has no money left to run North Korea
KIM Jong-un has reportedly spent almost an entire “slush fund” left to him by his dad on missile testing, leaving little money to run North Korea.   
The Sun News Corp Australia Network, JANUARY 27, 2018 KIM Jong-un has nearly blown the entire “slush fund” he inherited from his dad on nuclear tests, it has been claimed. Trigger happy Kim has staged a series of pricey nuke trials since taking over as leader after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.

But sources in China with close links to Pyongyang’s elite say the funds the 34-year-old inherited have all but gone up in smoke, reports Radio Free Asia.
According to The Sun, the chubby dictator no longer has enough to run his secretive kingdom. The nation’s participation in the Winter Olympic Games is said to be part of a bid to boost its economy, sources allege……

January 27, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Can A US President Be Charged With A Crime? Is The President Above The Law?

Mining Awareness +

The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law…. He is to have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, EXCEPT IN CASES OF IMPEACHMENT;… The power of the President, in respect to pardons, would extend to all cases, EXCEPT THOSE OF IMPEACHMENT…The Federalist Papers : No. 69 ‘The Real Character of the Executive”, From the New York Packet. Friday, March 14, 1788, by Alexander HAMILTON:

According to William Gallo-VOA News: “For those who say the president is immune from indictment, the argument basically comes down to the practicalities of governance. A criminal indictment, they say, would prevent the president from carrying out his or…

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January 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 26 Energy News



¶ “Renewable Energy Doesn’t Get More In Subsidies Than Fossil & Nuclear Energy Have Gotten, & Continue To Get” • Fossil fuels have received government subsidies for 100 or so years. They reportedly get about $5 trillion each year, globally. Renewable energy also receives subsidies, but nothing compared to what fossil fuels get. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm Avangrid

¶ “We want 41 million conversations about climate change” • At Budweiser, we pride ourselves in a close relationship with our consumers. Our research shows that they want to act on climate change but feel powerless to do anything. We sell 41 million bottles of Budweiser every day, and each one is an opportunity for discussion. [The Climate Group]

¶ “An Overlooked Solution for Competitive and Local Renewable Power” • A 40-year-old federal law has a new life in promoting a competitive US clean energy market because of…

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January 27, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment