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In victory for the environment, Norway will shut down problematic Halden nuclear Reactor

halden protest Protests at the Halden Reactor in 1990. Credit: bellona

In a major victory for radiation safety in Europe, the Norwegian government announced Wednesday that it would be permanently shutting down the financially and technically troubled Halden research reactor, which experienced a leak in 2016.

The 25 megawatt installation, which is the world’s oldest heavy-water reactor, is located in a mountain cave in the southern Norwegian town of Halden, and has been under a temporary closure since March due to a valve failure.

It is the second of Norway’s two reactors, the first of which is the Kjeller reactor, near Oslo, which began operations in 1951.

Bellona has for three decades questioned the Halden reactor’s sometimes hazardous operations, and demanded that the government stop subsiding its continued use.

During its operation, Halden has contributed some 10 tons of spent nuclear fuel to the 17 tons the country has amassed since the middle of the last century.

The announcement of Halden’s closure came Wednesday after a much-anticipated meeting of the board of the Institute of Energy Technology (IFE), which has overseen the reactor’s operation since it opened in 1958.

Norway’s industry ministry issued the announcement late in the afternoon, saying the closure came “for reasons of economic and technical risk in further operations.”

“This is a happy day for Bellona,” said Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s general manager and nuclear physicist. “We have fought for the shutdown of the Halden Reactor for about 30 years.”

the halden reactor The Halden Reactor. Credit: Bellona

Bøhmer urged the Norwegian government to develop a detailed dismantlement plan financed over the long term – and which would draw on the knowledge and expertise of technicians that currently operate the reactor.“Their jobs must be ensured during this transition phase,” Bøhmer said.

According to government projections, dismantling both the Halden and Kjeller reactors, as well as safely storing their radioactive waste, will cost some $1.5 billion, only a fraction of which has been accounted for by funding from the IFE. It is thus expected that the bulk of dismantling and storage costs will fall to the state.

Halden’s closure caps a luckless run for the reactor. In October 2016, a small leak of iodine 131 was detected at Halden, which prompted the evacuation of its staff, but caused no injuries or environmental damage outside the facility.

Yet the incident had the makings of something more serious. The iodine release caused a hydrogen buildup in Halden’s reactor core not unlike what occurred in 2011 at Fukushima. There were likewise concerns that the core of the reactor might become unstable, as well as other worrying issues surrounding its cooling system.

Most hazardous of all, however, was the lag-time between when the error occurred and when the IFE informed Norwegian radiation protection officials. The IFE later apologized for sitting on the news. But still, the incident fueled a rash of conspiracy theories charging that Norway was hiding a major nuclear disaster.

On less fantastical footing, however, the reactor had long ago fallen into costly obsolescence.

In April, government documents showed the reactor was operating at a loss of several million dollars, despite hefty operation grants to IFE from the government. At the same time, the reactor was drawing fewer and fewer paying customers for its nuclear research, and would have demanded another $18 billion in new revenues next year simply to stay solvent.

Wednesday’s decision to close the reactor stopped that financial bleed and Bellona is hopeful that the costs of operating the Halden reactor will now be put toward the safe dismantlement and storage of its radioactive legacy.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Mexico Radioactive Battleground over Nuke Dump: Sierra Club’s John Buchser – NH #367

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New Mexico becomes #Nuclear battleground over proposed “interim” storage (60-120 YEARS?!?) #Radioactive waste dump. #SierraClub’s John Buchser details the story and the activist push-back to #NuclearHotseat host #LibbeHaLevy
Listen to the podcast on this link  https://bit.ly/2tURcS1

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did Terrorists just attack a French nuclear plant? Video evidence!

Screenshot from 2018-07-04 16:53:03

Video of drone strike here; https://twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU/status/1014072753123717120/video/1

 

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#Hiroshima Day Peace Picnic Monday 6 August 2018 at 18.30. Be there or be square!

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

World Anti Nuclear Day (WAND) on Saturday 7th June 2018

Wayne Jones Don’t forget that Saturday is World Anti Nuclear Day (WAND) . I will be in Cardiff City Centre at 3pm at the confluence of Queen Street and Duke Street . Hoping you can join me . Others may wish to meet at the Houses of Parliament in London , and outside the Minster in York

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July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israeli Knesset rejects international nuclear oversight #IAEA #Fukushima

double-standars

Asked by Zahalka if Israel had a nuclear plant in Dimona, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel made sure there would be no nuclear weapons in Iraq and Syria.

By Gil Hoffman
July 4, 2018 13:49

The Knesset voted 73 to 8 Wednesday afternoon to reject MK Jamal Zahalka’s proposal for international monitoring over Israel’s alleged nuclear facility in Dimona.

Only MKs from Zahalka’s Joint List faction voted for the bill, which would have compelled Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons within a month and then submit the Dimona facility to the oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Zahalka warned in the Knesset debate that the facility endangered the region, its people, and property, especially if there would be an earthquake. He noted that there was a small earthquake in Tiberias overnight and that a small earthquake near a nuclear facility in Japan six years ago caused significant damage.

The bill was co-sponsored by Joint List MKs Haneen Zoabi and Juma Azbarga. Zahalka warned that the Dimoana facility encouraged neighboring countries to build similar facilities.

“As long as Israel has nuclear weapons, other countries in the region will try to acquire them as well, and they will get them sooner or later,” Zahalka said. “The only way to prevent that from happening is to denuclearize the entire Middle East from weapons of mass destruction, including Israel.”

Asked by Zahalka if Israel had a nuclear plant in Dimona, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel made sure there would be no nuclear weapons in Iraq and Syria and would ensure Iran would not get a nuclear capability. Steinitz said that if Iran stops being militant, there will be Middle East peace but if Israel stops fighting for its existence, it will be destroyed.

The minister added that the IAEA had nothing to do with earthquakes. Zahalka rebutted him that if there would be an earthquake, there could be damage to the reactor, and then the IAEA would have to get involved to deal with the repercussions.

Turning to the MKs who voted against the bill, Zahalka said: “You are responsible for the disaster that could come because the reactor is unsupervised.”

Steinitz called the bill “a joke,” because Zahalka focuses on safety from earthquakes while the IAEA “didn’t prevent Fukushima,” referencing the 2011 disaster at a nuclear plant in Japan.

The minister stressed  a difference between a “research reactor” and a reactor used as a power plant. He further explained the plant was upgraded several times over since the 90s and said Zahalka was wrong to call it old and outdated. He stressed it would also be safe even in the event of an earthquake.

Israel is widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, though it has never confirmed or denied that it has a nuclear arsenal. The country has refused to sign on to international nonproliferation treaties and arrested Mordechai Vanunu in 1986 for leaking information about a facility in Dimona.

Vanunu was jailed as a traitor in 1986 after discussing his work as a technician at the Dimona nuclear reactor facility with Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, an interview that led experts to conclude that the facility had produced fissile material for as many as 200 atomic warheads.

Lahav Harkov, Avraham Gold and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#Katsurao Village #radioactive #contamination map Japan #Fukushima Prefecture

Katsurao Village contamination map: the latest map of Fukuichi (Fukushima Daiichi) Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project.
In English & in Japanese.
PLEASE SHARE !

ふくいち周辺環境放射線モニタリングプロジェクト作成の葛尾村の土壌汚染マップです。日英語併記バージョン。
大いに拡散お願いいたします!!

Katsurao Village contamination map

Katsurao Village: its whereabouts and evacuation/return policy history

In June 2016, the evacuation order applied to Katsurao village after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear accident was lifted for 80% of its territory. The northeast part of the village in the vicinity of Namie town is still classed as a ”difficult-to-return” zone, where the annual airborne radiation dose is over 20mSv. The lifting of the evacuation order of this area is not planned.

葛尾村は、2016年6月に80パーセント以上の地域で避難指示が解除になりました。浪江町と隣接する村の北東部に、年間被ばく量が20ミリSvを超えると推計される帰還困難区域が残りますが、解除の予定はありません。

Katsurao Map with FDNPP
Katsurao in relation to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP

In June 2018, approximately 300 people are living in the village, which is about 20% of the population before the accident. In April 2018, primary and junior high schools opened where 18 children are currently studying, whereas in 2010, before the accident, 112 children were attending schools.

2018年6月現在の居住者は300人ほどで、事故前の20パーセント程度です。2018年4月には、小中学校が村内で再開され、合計18名が通学しています。事故前(2010年)は、112名でした。

The village is covered by hilly forests as you can see in the Google Earth below.

グーグルアースの地図で見れるように、葛尾は緑豊かな山村です。

Google earth
Picture Google Earth

Katsurao village contamination map 葛尾村土壌汚染マップ

Since last year, Fukuichi (Fukushima Daiichi) Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project Team has been measuring contamination in Namie Town, Tomioka Town and in a part of Okuma Town (the-not-permitted-to-live zone). Compared to these areas, the radio-contamination of Katsurao village is relatively low. However, the soil contamination is still well above 185000Bq/m2, the value over which Chernobyl law grants the inhabitants the right to evacuate. Allowing, or more exactly forcing the population to live in such highly contaminated areas by cutting public aid and therefore depriving the financial means for evacuees to live outside of the contaminated area is a strong violation of human rights. (See the article in Beyond Nuclear International:  Fukushima mothers at UN tell their story).

チームは昨年から、浪江町・富岡町・大熊町の1部(居住制限区域)とモニタリングをおこなってきましたが、それと比較すると放射能汚染の程度は低いと感じられます。それでも、土壌汚染密度の平均は、チェルノブイリ法の「移住の権利」基準(185,000Bq/㎡)を大きく超えています。このような高度汚染地域の避難指示を解除し、公的支援を打ち切り、汚染地域の外で生活することが経済的に困難な状況を作り出すことで人々を帰還させるのは基本的人権の侵害に他なりません。(Beyond Nuclear Internationalの以下の記事をご参照ください。 Fukushima mothers at UN tell their story

Project team at work モニタリングチームの作業

As we can see in the pictures, the team members are elderly or relatively elderly, therefore less radio-sensitive than younger people. They have volunteered to enter in highly contaminated areas to do the measuring work since neither central nor local governments are willing to carry out such work. We thank them greatly for their help and devotion.

写真を見て分かるように、チームのメンバーは中高年者の方々で、若い年齢層に比べると放射線被ばくに対する脆弱性が比較的低くなります。本来ならば政府や地方自治体が実施しなければならない土壌汚染調査のため、高度汚染地域にボランティアとして入って計測してくださっています。彼らの助力と献身に深謝を捧げます。

prep with maps 1
Preparing for the measurement expedition

in forest

Prélèvement 4 à côté de voiture

prélèvement 3

Katsurao measuring

The appearance of the temporary depositories of radioactive soil from the decontamination efforts is different. In Minamisoma or in Namie, they are surrounded by 2m high fences, whereas those of Katsurao village are covered by dark green sheeting without conspicuous fencing. As one of the monitoring team members says sarcastically, ”they melt perfectly in their natural environment.”

南相馬市や浪江町の除染土仮置き場は、約2mの塀で囲まれていますが、葛尾村の仮置き場は濃いグリーンのシートで覆われているだけです。「葛尾村の仮置き場は、すっかり自然に馴染んでいるな~」と、皮肉を込めた言葉がメンバーの口から漏れました。

Namie deposit
Temporary depository in Namie
temporary deposit
In Katsurao, the temporary depository has become a part of the natural landscape

_______
Text by Fukuichi Area Environmental Radiation Monitoring Project & Kurumi Sugita
テキスト: ふくいち周辺環境放射線モニタリング・プロジェクト&杉田くるみ

See also in this blog:
Contamination map of Minamisoma
Contamination map of Namie town
Contamination map of Tomioka town

このブログの他の土壌汚染マップもご覧ください。
Contamination map of Minamisoma
Contamination map of Namie town
Contamination map of Tomioka town

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heat Waves and Climate Change: US Media Fails to Make the Connection

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TheRealNews Published on 2 Jul 2018

The failure to link the increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves means that the general population remains relatively unaware of the urgency of climate change, says Jennifer Marlon of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication Visit http://therealnews.com for more stories and help support our work by donating at http://therealnews.com/donate.
Watch the program here (8 mins 40 sec);
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSx6ZRoazI

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Radioactive Cardiff Mud Dump is 10 times hotter than official records!

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Richard Bramhall June 2018

Natural Resources Wales is in a very difficult position. They are responsible for issuing the Marine Licence that Electricité de France needs before they can dredge 300,000 tonnes of sediment from the Severn Estuary and dump it on Cardiff. But NRW knows almost nothing about how much radioactivity is in the mud.

CEFAS, a laboratory sponsored by Westminster Government, tested the mud but destroyed the data. Later they took samples only from the top layer although EdF proposes to scrape down to bed rock. They examined the samples only with a technique that cannot detect Uranium and Plutonium.

NRW says the mud is safe but they have no expertise on radiation and health. They rely on the English Environment Agency. But the Environment Agency told us and other NGOs they aren’t competent to talk about new evidence of the dangers of Uranium. They say we must discuss it with COMARE and Public Health England.

NRW claims to be open to fresh approaches and new information. We have reported to them on the evasion and dishonesty of COMARE and PHE when addressing new evidence. We have emphasised the sociological angle, telling them that a classic Scientific Revolution is happening in front of their eyes. We have pointed out that, rather than engaging with the science, COMARE has recruited a sociologist to help them deal with challenging dialogues (peep behind the scenes in Minute 2.5 of COMARE’s meeting in November 2017).

The majority of AMs who spoke in the Welsh Assembly mud dump debate on 23rd May emphasised the precautionary principle. Suspending the licence is an obvious first move so that proper tests can be done. Full reports.


Deception is RIFE

Recently we paid Harwell a lot of money to analyse sediment from Newbiggin near Sellafield. It turns out to be ten times as hot as CEFAS says in Radioactivity in Food and the Environment for the same location. If CEFAS is lying about Newbiggin we must infer that all the millions the Government has spent on RIFE reports over the last 23 years have been wasted. It also casts further doubt on what they have told Natural Resources Wales about the Cardiff Mud Dump.

Source Richard Bramhall at the http://www.llrc.org/

Richards FB comment here;

“…Richard Bramhall

I just published a new report (www.llrc.org) on the bogus science behind the Cardiff mud dump. It’s for Natural Resources Wales, forwarded by my AM Kirsty Williams.
Scientists have been protesting at the bogus modeling of radiation risk since WW2 but now it’s totally bizarre. The English Environment Agency has backed away from discussing it, leaving Natural Resources Wales, who relied on them, with no science but a dumping decision to defend. My report reproduces official responses from the people who can’t avoid discussing it because it’s their job — Public Health England, COMARE, and Westminster’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) — together with my replies dissecting their total b….x, sorry I mean “unscientific reasoning”.
I have alerted Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, that the dump is imminent. I have asked her to persuade NRW to withdraw or suspend the licence until new samples have been taken from the full depth of the sediment and tested with protocols that EdF’s critics agree with and can scrutinise. Please, Get with.
…”

Further reading with link to petition; 

https://cnduk.org/radioactive-sediment-dump-in-cardiff-bay/

Image source link;

LABOUR MINISTERS PERMIT RADIOACTIVE MUD TO BE DUMPED IN THE SEA OFF PENARTH

 

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan’s “New” Energy Plan Commits to Renewables—And Nuclear and Coal, Too

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07/03/2018 | Darrell Proctor

http://www.powermag.com/japans-new-energy-plan-commits-to-renewables-and-nuclear-and-coal-too/

Japan’s government on July 3 approved a new Basic Energy Plan for the country, saying it is committed to increasing the role of renewable resources for power generation while also confirming it wants nuclear power to remain a vital part of the nation’s energy strategy.

Japan issues a revised Basic Energy Plan, which outlines the country’s mid- and long-term energy policy, every few years as required by law. The plan issued today is the second under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The new plan is first time Japan has announced a commitment to renewable energy such as solar and wind, though it noted widespread adoption of renewable resources could be limited by the country’s fluctuating weather. The plan also says renewables will include batteries and hydrogen-based technologies.

The new plan says the country will continue to rely on coal-fired power generation as a baseload energy source, even as it discusses ways to reduce carbon emissions in its energy sector. Japan has a goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2050 from 2013 levels.

At least eight new coal-fired plants have come online in Japan over the past two years, and there are plans to build at least three dozen more over the next decade. The government in early 2017 said it wanted to build new plants using high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology, which some experts say enables a plant to produce half the emissions of a traditional coal plant.

The Abe administration’s first energy plan in 2014 promoted nuclear energy and reversed the policy of the previous government, which pledged to phase out nuclear power by 2039 due to public concern about safety after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Japan took all its nuclear units offline after Fukushima, rewrote its safety regulations, and said reactors needed to pass rigorous inspectionsbefore being allowed to re-enter commercial operation. The new energy plan does say safety is a priority and says the nation will cut dependence on nuclear power generation “as much as possible.”

The new plan lists targets for the country’s energy mix in 2030, with nuclear at 20-22%, renewables at 22-24%, and coal at 26%, mostly in line with previous levels. Energy analysts said about 30 of the country’s reactors would need to be restarted to reach the nuclear target; just eight have come back onlinepost-Fukushima; a ninth, Unit 4 at Genkai, is expected to re-enter  commercial operation this month. Some companies have discussed building new reactors—Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) last week said it plans to resume its planned Higashidori nuclear plant project in Aomori Prefecture, which was suspended after Fukushima—though the new plan makes no mention of new nuclear facilities.

Construction of the first of two reactors at Higashidori began in January 2011 but was stopped after March 2011 Fukushima incident. TEPCO said its plans for the plant still include two advanced boiling water reactors with total generation capacity of 2.77 gigawatts.

The latest energy plan says the government will maintain its nuclear policy, noting its importance to the Abe’s administration’s strategy for expanding the Japanese economy. According to the Basic Energy Plan, “Japan is determined to make a positive contribution to enhancing the safety of nuclear energy and the peaceful use of nuclear energy” through exports of nuclear plants.

The government’s plan for more coal plants is part of a strategy developed due to concerns about power demand outstripping power supply as nuclear plants went offline after Fukushima. The country’s coal strategy includes funding for new technologies to reduce emissions; Japan earlier this year said the Japan Coal Energy Center and Kawasaki Heavy Industries would spend $9 million to fund research into carbon capture at a facility near Gillette, Wyoming. It follows a 2016 agreement Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed to collaborate with the Japan Coal Energy Center for research and technology.

The country also is participating in research for using coal as an energy source for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Australia are working together at a $390 million pilot plant in Melbourne, Australia, that would turn coal into hydrogen gas.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment