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

#Brexit UK #nuclear #research loss? #Halden shuts down in #Norway, Delays in new #France #MTR

Nuclear-news exclusive

Posted on 3 September 2018

Posted by Shaun McGee aka Arclight

An update on my earlier videos on the shattered Halden nuclear reactor. Thanks for all those that shared the videos, social media at its best!

Plus Brexits effect on the UK and French delays on the MTR replacement for the Halden MTR. There are serious problems with MTR`s (Materials testing reactor)

There are about 10 other MTR`s in Europe and they are between 40 and over 60 years old! How are these reactors cost effective ?

Well done everyone who shared the info on the earlier videos I did challenging the status quo of the Halden Reactor and a big thank you to Bellona, CRIIRAD and the many groups and individuals in Norway and worldwide who highlighted the many inadequacies of the nasty Halden reactor (RIP). now only about ten more dangerously old MTR reactors to go!!

I did a quick video outlining some issues including schools being used as propaganda outlets for corporations, Euratom etc. Shaun

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September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The week to 3 September, in climate and nuclear news

Melting permafrost in Alaska reveals ancient fossils and artifacts. Container ships can now save lots of time, going via a new shipping route through the Arctic. New mining opportunities in Greenland. Americans will be able to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildl.ife Refuge.

Ain’t it all great? Not really. The melting of the Arctic is a global horror story. Is anyone noticing? Does anyone care?  That is the question that our children and grandchildren will be asking.

Bangkok Climate Talks: time to deliver on Paris rulebook. El Nino weather is made more extreme because of climate change.

Media about climate change must address the social impacts, and respect refugees.

UK, USSR, and US soldiers paid the health costs, as guinea pigs for nuclear bomb blasts.   Cosmic ionising radiation is a threat to pregnant flight crew members.

ARCTIC. Arctic sea ice under threat from warm water that has arrived deep below it.

JAPAN.   Fukushima. Opposition to release of Fukushima radioactive tritium water into the sea; longterm storage the better option. Release of tritium-tainted water into sea is opposed by Fukushima fisheries group.  Japan might sue journalist over his coverage of Fukushima, in Dark Tourist series. Japan’s municipalities in growing rejection to hosting nuclear waste dumps.  Fukushima to remove controversial statue of child in radiation protection suit.

Water leak in Japan’s unfinished Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant.   Nuclear fuel soon to be removed from Japan’s failed Monju fast breeder reactorJapanese students submit nuclear abolition petition to UN. Nuclear waste briefings in coastal areas. Japan revises guidelines for earthquake probabilities.

IRAN. U.N. watchdog says Iran continues to comply with nuclear restrictions despite U.S. pullout.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. The woman who tore up the curtain of silence.

USA.

GERMANY. French and German anti nuclear campaigners block uranium transport.  German nuclear waste and Geoscience authorities in selection process for nuclear waste dump.    New documentary claims that Hitler had nuclear weapons ambitions, only thwarted by an accident.

SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia’s plans to make Qatar a nuclear waste dump island.

CHINA. China reaffirms commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons.  Ecological risks of China’s floating nuclear power plants in South China Sea.

TAIWAN. Taiwan to hold referendum on lifting Fukushima food ban in November.

UKSouth Korea’s nuclear corporation in desperate effort to save Moorside nuclear plant project .  How a UK submarine could carry out a nuclear strike, depending on a radio programme.  Protest rally against nuclear power station mud dump.

CANADA. Following Trump, Canada and Australia go backwards on climate change action.

FRANCE. France’s Environment Minister quits in protest about nuclear and climate policy.    Resignation of France’s Environment Minister – he did not do a great deal to pull back nuclear power.

RUSSIA. Russia’s $9 billion nuclear-powered supercarrier will probably never be completed.

AUSTRALIA. Western Australia’s Traditional owners steadfast in 40 years’ opposition to uranium mining. Aboriginal Elders take action against uranium mining.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Fukushima mulls action against Netflix over Dark Tourist video of 3/11 hot zone

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The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is seen from the sky in February.
Sep 1, 2018
FUKUSHIMA – The Fukushima Prefectural Government and the Reconstruction Agency are considering taking action against a video from the Dark Tourist series of U.S. online video streaming giant Netflix Inc., informed sources said Saturday.
The video shows a tour organized for foreigners of areas affected by the March 2011 triple core meltdown in Fukushima. During the tour, a New Zealand journalist, the host of the video series, suspects a meal served at a restaurant in the town of Namie has been contaminated by radiation.
The prefecture and the agency are concerned the video could fuel unreasonable fears related to the March 2011 disaster at Tokyo Electric’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the sources said.
The video also shows the journalist entering the no-go zone around the crippled nuclear plant without permission and reporting from an abandoned game arcade there.
Furthermore, the video shows tour participants getting upset by rising radiation readings on their bus, although where the bus was traveling is not specified.
The video of the Fukushima tour attracted attention initially online and has been covered by overseas media.
Alarmed by the situation, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has decided to cooperate with the Reconstruction Agency in responding to the matter, the sources said. The defunct atomic plant is managed by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.
“We’re examining the video content,” a senior official from the prefecture said.
Netflix offers unlimited access to online movies and TV dramas at flat rates. It has about 130 million subscribers in 190 countries.
In its Dark Tourist series, the New Zealand journalist travels to places associated with negative historical events around the world, including a former nuclear test site in Kazakhstan.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima water release into sea faces chorus of opposition

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Sep 1, 2018
Citizens and environmental groups have expressed opposition to the idea of releasing into the ocean water tainted with tritium, a radioactive substance, from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“Long-term storage (of the tritium-containing water) is possible from technical and economic standpoints,” Komei Hosokawa, 63, an official of the Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy, said at a public hearing held in Tokyo on Friday by a subcommittee of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. “The radiation levels in the water will decrease during the long-term storage,” he added.
At a similar hearing held the same day in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Aki Hashimoto, a housewife from the city, said, “I never want to see further worsening of ocean pollution from radiation.”
Opinions objecting to the release of the tritium-contaminated water into the ocean were also heard at a hearing held in the Fukushima town of Tomioka on Thursday.
After Friday’s hearings, Ichiro Yamamoto, who heads the subcommittee, told reporters that many participants in the hearings said the tainted water should continue to be held in storage tanks.
The subcommittee will study the option of keeping the water in the tanks, he added.
Tepco is lowering the radiation levels in contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant using special equipment, but the device cannot remove tritium.
The tritium-tainted water is stored in tanks within the premises of the power plant, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In 2016, an expert panel of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy discussed five methods to dispose of the tritium-tainted water —injection deep into the ground, release into the sea after dilution, release into the air through evaporation, conversion into hydrogen through electrolysis, and burying it after it is solidified.
The panel estimated that the ocean release is the cheapest option, costing up to about ¥3.4 billion.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Residents blast water-discharge method at Fukushima plant

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Tanks containing radioactive water are seen in the compound of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that spans the towns of Okuma and Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture.
 
August 31, 2018
TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–Fishermen and local residents on Aug. 30 vehemently opposed the government’s plan to discharge radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, saying the measure will damage a number of industries.
During a public hearing on the measure, they also blasted the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., for “misleading” the public by failing to disclose that radioactive substances, such as strontium, remained in the water to be discharged.
Although the ministry and TEPCO will likely have to repeat purification measures for the water to remove those substances, they gained little support for their plan to deal with the radioactive water accumulating at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Thirteen of the 14 people who were allowed to express their opinions at the ministry-organized public hearing expressed opposition to the water-discharge plan.
“The (negative) influences of the measure will reach a wide range of fields, including not only the fishery industry but also tourism and restaurant businesses,” said Tatsuya Ito, a resident of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, and a member of “Genpatsu-mondai Jumin-undo Zenkoku-renraku Center (National liaison center for residents’ movements on nuclear power generation issues).
Tetsu Nozaki, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, emphasized that releasing the water into the sea would deal a “devastating blow” to the prefecture’s fisheries industry.
“If the water is discharged in large quantities, it will inevitably cause confusion in Japan and abroad and lead to damage from groundless rumors,” Nozaki said.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in March 2011, coastal fishing in Fukushima Prefecture was suspended because of radioactive water flowing into the sea.
Fishing for three types of fish later resumed on a trial basis. Now, more than 170 types are permitted, and preparations are being made for a full-scale resumption of operations.
But at the plant, groundwater flowing into the damaged reactor buildings continues to pose a problem, even after underground frozen walls were completed to divert the clean water into the sea.
About 100 tons of groundwater still become contaminated every day after entering the buildings. TEPCO also injects 70 tons of water daily into each of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors to cool the melted fuel.
Water from the buildings is purified, and 100 tons are stored in large tanks in the compound of the plant per day. The remaining water is re-injected into the reactors.
The volume of water stored in those tanks has reached 920,000 tons in the seven-and-a-half years since the triple meltdown. About 900 tanks, including those for unpurified water, now stand at the plant.
The ministry says that increasing the number of tanks will become impossible in late 2020 due to the limited space. It believes that a method to dispose of radioactive water must be decided within this year at the earliest.
The facilities used to purify the water remove radioactive substances, such as cesium and strontium, but they cannot eliminate tritium, whose chemical nature is the same as hydrogen’s.
Discharging tritium into the sea is permitted if its radioactivity level is less than the statutory standard of 60,000 becquerels per liter of water.
But at the public hearing, the participants learned that traces of strontium also remained in the purified water.
“(The ministry and TEPCO) have misled the public,” said Kazuyoshi Sato, an Iwaki city assemblyman. “They made a serious mistake in the fair disclosure of a wide range of information.”
After the hearing, Ichiro Yamamoto, professor emeritus of nuclear power at Nagoya University and chairman of a government subcommittee on disposing of radioactive water, admitted that the government failed to sufficiently explain the fact that radioactive substances other than tritium remained in the water.
“I think that it is necessary to purify the water again,” he said.
In May 2016, a ministry working group offered five methods to dispose of the radioactive water: putting it into geological layers; discharging it into the sea; releasing it as steam; discharging it as hydrogen; and burying it in the ground.
The group said if the radioactive water is diluted and released into the sea, it would cost 3.4 billion yen ($30 million) and take seven years and four months to complete. It concluded that this was cheapest and quickest of the five methods.
Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, also supported the measure of releasing the water into the sea, saying, “It is the only feasible method.”

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Work starts to decommission problem-plagued Monju reactor

“The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on Aug. 30 started work to decommission the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture…
The decommissioning work is scheduled to take 30 years and cost $ 3.33 billion.”
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Staff members of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency operate equipment to remove nuclear fuel assemblies from a storage tank at the plant of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, on Aug. 30.
August 30, 2018
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on Aug. 30 started work to decommission the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, a once-promising project that struggled with problems, even in preparations for its dismantlement.
The work started a month later than scheduled because of a series of equipment trouble. The JAEA workers also face an enormous challenge because Japan has no experience in decommissioning a fast-breeder reactor.
The JAEA will use overseas experiences as a reference for the delicate process.
Before the start of the work, JAEA President Toshio Kodama told staff members in a speech at the plant in Tsuruga, “I want you to tackle this work by bracing yourselves.”
Monju had been a key facility in the government’s nuclear fuel recycling program.
Construction of the reactor started in 1985, but a series of accidents, including a sodium coolant leak in 1995, as well as cover-ups kept the reactor offline for most of its life.
In 2016, after 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) had been spent on the project, the government finally decided to abolish Monju.
The decommissioning work is scheduled to take 30 years and cost 375 billion yen.
One of the riskiest parts in the decommissioning process is handling the liquid sodium, which reacts strongly with water and air.
In the first of the four-stage decommissioning project, the JAEA will transfer 530 nuclear fuel assemblies, currently kept in the liquid sodium-filled nuclear reactor and storage tank, to a water-filled pool by fiscal 2022.
In the work that began on Aug. 30, the JAEA will remove 160 nuclear fuel assemblies from the storage tank, wash away the sodium, and place them in the pool.
From 2019, the agency will transfer nuclear fuel assemblies from the reactor to the storage tank and then to the pool.
In December this year, the JAEA will also start to transfer about 760 tons of sodium, which has not been exposed to radioactive substances, to its storage tank. Later, the agency will remove about 910 tons of radioactive sodium from the reactor and other equipment.
In the following stages, the agency will dismantle the nuclear reactor, the turbine and other facilities.
However, no decision has been made on how to dispose of the nuclear fuel removed from the reactor and the storage tank. Monju has used mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which contains plutonium and currently cannot be reprocessed in Japan.
“It’s realistic to ask an overseas company to reprocess it,” said Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the government’s nuclear watchdog.
If reprocessing expenses in a foreign country are added, the overall decommissioning costs will sharply increase.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t, TEPCO plan to dump treated water in sea angers Fukushima fishermen

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In this July 17, 2018 file photo, tanks containing water contaminated with radioactive materials are seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture.
 
August 30, 2018
TOKYO/IWAKI, Fukushima — In response to a Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plan to release water containing radioactive tritium even after being treated from the tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean, Fukushima’s fishing industry is biting back.
A panel of experts from the economy ministry is holding the first public meetings in Tokyo and Fukushima Prefecture on Aug. 30 and 31 concerning the future of the growing number of tanks of treated water around the power plant in the northeastern Japanese prefecture.
The ministry and TEPCO have expressed intentions to make a final decision sometime this year on whether to dump the treated water into the sea, saying that they are approaching the limit of the amount of water that the facilities can accommodate. However, fishermen and others involved in the marine product industry in Fukushima Prefecture, who have conducted numerous safety tests of their products, say that such a move would only undermine the trust they have been trying to build concerning safety, building up a sense of crisis.
“Scientists can simply say, ‘It’s fine to dump (the water) into the ocean,’ but will the citizens of Japan still buy fish from Fukushima (afterward) like they do now?” So asked 63-year-old Toru Takahashi, a fisherman from Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, who rebuilt his boat damaged in the 2011 tsunami and has participated in the testing of the fish off of Fukushima’s shores. Takahashi believes that the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s approval of the plan to dump the water containing tritium — which cannot be filtered using current technology — in the Pacific Ocean put forth by the economy ministry as the fastest and most low-cost method of disposal, lacks the perspective of fishermen and those in the marine product industry.
After high concentrations of radioactive materials were washed into the ocean in the nuclear disaster at the power plant in 2011, fishing along the coast of Fukushima was halted completely. From the following year, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries and Co-operative Associations began trial operations and other activities to test the safety of marine products, expanding the range of fishing areas and species. Since April 2015, there have been no cases of fish exceeding the government standard of 100 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram. The catch has been only a little more than 10 percent that of before the accident, fishing of core species has begun again, and radiation below the minimum detection limit is found in over 99 percent of the products tested this year.
It is precisely for this reason that the notion of releasing the treated water into the ocean off Fukushima’s coast is causing concerns in the fishing industry.
“We don’t intend to protest on scientific grounds, but the problem is that the measure hasn’t gained the understanding of the citizens of Japan. It will be a huge blow to the Fukushima fishing industry,” said Fukushima prefectural fisheries federation chairman Tetsu Nozaki, who plans to make his opposition to the plan known at the forum in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 30.
The contaminated water in question is that which has been used to cool the melted nuclear fuel rods in the reactor and the ground water around the plant, and each day, roughly 220 tons of such water is amassed, and is expected to amount to 55,000 tons per year in the future. Currently, there are 880 containment tanks on the grounds of the nuclear plant. Even after treating the water, tritium cannot be removed.
According to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, if an individual was to drink 2 liters of water containing the maximum standard amount of tritium every day, then they would be exposed to an additional roughly 1 millisievert of radiation annually, which is equal to the actual radiation exposure limit put forth by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.
After collecting the opinions of the participants in the public hearings, the government plans to make a final decision about processing the water in cooperation with TEPCO before the end of the year.
(Japanese original by Tatsushi Inui, Iwaki Local Bureau, and Riki Iwama, Science & Environment News Department)

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima fisheries group opposes release of radioactive water into sea

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Aug 30, 2018
TOMIOKA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – The head of a fisheries industry group in Fukushima Prefecture expressed opposition on Thursday to the idea of releasing water containing radioactive tritium from a crippled nuclear plant in the prefecture into the ocean.
The tritium-tainted water is from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was damaged heavily in the powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
“At a time when harmful rumors are still circulating in Japan and some countries continue to restrict imports (of Fukushima goods), releasing the tainted water into the sea will inevitably deliver a fatal blow to the Fukushima fishery industry,” Tetsu Nozaki, who leads the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, said.
His remarks came during a public hearing held by a subcommittee of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy in the Fukushima town of Tomioka.
The hearing was for the canvassing of opinions on how to deal with the tritium-tainted water. Releasing it into the sea has been proposed as one option. Similar hearings will be held in the city of Koriyama, Fukushima, and Tokyo on Friday.
Using special equipment, Tepco is lowering the radiation levels in contaminated water at the plant, but the device cannot remove tritium.
While the processed water is kept in tanks within the premises of the nuclear power station, the amount of tainted water continues to increase as the plant’s damaged reactors need to be cooled continuously. Tepco is about to run out of suitable sites to construct new storage tanks, according to the government.
Discussions on ways to deal with the tritium-contaminated water are underway at the subcommittee of the government agency.
In a June 2016 report, an expert panel of the agency said that releasing the polluted water into the sea after it is diluted with fresh water would be relatively cheap and time-efficient.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Public hearing in Fukushima on tritium-laced water

Aug. 30, 2018
Many people at a public hearing have criticized a plan to release water containing radioactive tritium into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
A government panel of experts held the meeting in the town of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday to discuss how to deal with the contaminated water.
About 100 people, including local residents, and heads of organizations were invited to take part.
Contaminated water is generated daily at the plant in the process of cooling the damaged reactors. The water is being treated to get rid of radioactive substances, but tritium is difficult to remove. About 920,000 tons of water containing tritium is currently being stored at the plant.
Among the possible options to dispose of the tritium-laced water, the government says diluting and releasing it into the sea is the quickest and most inexpensive way.
A local fisherman who attended Thursday’s hearing said he fears that releasing contaminated water will undo all the progress that has been made since fishing resumed on a trial basis. Other participants also stated negative views.
But a researcher from Osaka expressed support for releasing the water while monitoring radiation levels.
The panel will hold more public hearings on Friday in Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture and in Tokyo.
The experts will study the opinions expressed at the hearings before submitting their proposal to the government.

 

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima city to remove statue clad in radiation protective gear

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Children on Aug. 3 pose in front of Kenji Yanobe’s Sun Child statue in Fukushima city.
 
August 29, 2018
FUKUSHIMA–Fukushima city will remove a large statue of an injured child wearing a yellow hazmat suit after complaints rolled in that the artwork grossly exaggerates the damage from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“It is difficult to keep displaying a controversial work of art as a symbol of reconstruction,” Fukushima Mayor Hiroshi Kohata said on Aug. 28.
The 6.2-meter-tall Sun Child statue, weighing about 800 kilograms, was created by contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe, 52, a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.
The statue, which was installed on Aug. 3, is supposed to represent hope for reconstruction from the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant that started after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011.
The Sun Child, staring out toward the sky, holds a hazmat helmet in his left hand and has scars and bruises on his face. A Geiger counter embedded in the statue’s chest is set at zero.
A civic group donated the statue, which depicts the hopes of a “future free from the nuclear disaster,” to the city.
After the city government set up the statue at a facility that provides information about radiation and has playground equipment, it received nearly 60 complaints from residents.
One noted that a radiation counter reading of zero is impossible even in nature.
Another complaint said,” (City residents) didn’t have to wear radiation protective gear at the time of the disaster so that (hazmat suit) could lead to misunderstandings.”
From Aug. 18 to Aug. 27, the city conducted a questionnaire covering 110 visitors to the site of the statue. Seventy-five of the respondents demanded the removal or relocation of the statue, compared with 22 who wanted the statue to remain.
Kohata acknowledged a lack of consensus-building before the Sun Child was erected.
Sculptor Yanobe also accepted the city’s decision to remove his artwork.
“We came to the conclusion that we should stop displaying the statue if it torments people,” he said. “Even after the statue is removed, I want to talk to residents. I am currently coordinating my schedule (to visit Fukushima).”
Maki Sahara, 46, director of a Fukushima-based NPO that spreads information about protection against radiation, criticized the government’s handling of the statue.
“The city was too hasty in deciding to set up the statue and to remove it,” Sahara said. “The Sun Child could have triggered discussions on radiation among residents. What a shame that the city spoiled the chance.”
Yasuko Araki, chief curator at the prefectural museum, which displays a one-tenth scale model of the Sun Child, said it has received no complaints.
But she said the city government was ill-prepared.
“Viewers’ impressions of works of art at the museum differ from those that appear in public spaces,” she said. “The city should have devised ways to explain the process of creating the Sun Child.”
(This article was compiled from reports by Morikazu Kogen, Hikari Maruyama and Hiroshi Fukatsu.)

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Free temporary housing for Fukushima evacuees to mostly end in March ’20

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This file photo taken in April 2017 shows temporary housing in the city of Nihonmatsu in central Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan for evacuees from the 2011 disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant
August 28, 2018
FUKUSHIMA — The government of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan has announced it will terminate in March 2020 the provision of free temporary housing to most of the evacuees from areas in four towns and villages rendered difficult to live in due to fallout from the 2011 triple core meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
It was the first time to set a deadline to end housing support for evacuees from those “difficult to return” areas. The new measure, announced on Aug. 27, will stop the provision of all rent-free temporary housing from dwellings in the towns of Okuma and Futaba where the nuclear plant is located.
The termination of the support program will affect a total of 3,298 households who had to move out of difficult to return areas in the villages of Katsurao and Iitate, as well as the towns of Tomioka and Namie. The measure will cover both temporary prefabricated housing as well as private rental accommodation paid for by the prefecture.
The prefectural government explained that the financial support is being phased out as it is now possible for those residents to find stable homes on their own, among other reasons. Meanwhile, the prefecture will conduct an opinion poll on some 1,661 households from Okuma and Futaba to determine whether to continue to offer free housing for them after March 2020.
The free temporary housing service will end in March next year for evacuees of 2,389 households from five municipalities including the village of Kawauchi and the town of Kawamata, where evacuation orders have been lifted, but the service can be extended for another year for people with special circumstances.
Evacuation orders prompted by the 2011 nuclear disaster targeted 11 municipalities although they were eventually lifted for nine cities, towns and villages by April 2017 except Futaba and Okuma as well as difficult to return zones in some of the municipalities.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste briefings in coastal areas

 
In this video clip from NHK News, check out the *many* proposed permanent nuclear waste dump sites in Japan that have just been announced.
 
Looks like Kyoto and Osaka are impacted. And what is the sea level rise effect on these proposed coastal nuclear waste dumps?

August 27, 2018
Japanese energy agency officials say they will continue to hold public briefing sessions on the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.
The government last year released a map showing which parts of the country may be scientifically suited to hosting an underground disposal site.
The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy has so far invited residents to 55 briefing sessions. Most have taken place in prefectural capitals.
On Monday, the agency held a meeting in Tokyo to explain the sessions to regional officials.
Agency officials said participants tend to question whether highly contaminated nuclear waste can safely be stored in earthquake-prone Japan. They also express concerns over how local people’s opinions may be reflected.
The agency plans to hold further briefings, mainly in coastal areas that are considered to be relatively suitable for underground waste storage.
The districts cover about 900 municipalities.
The officials say they will decide on where to hold the briefing sessions after discussions with the municipalities.
The officials indicate they will continue approaching municipalities to investigate potential waste disposal sites. So far none have agreed to such studies.

 

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Politicians, media, the world – does no-one care about the unfolding horror of the melting Arctic?

It’s not only summer weather that is changing. Earlier this year, one study showed that when the Arctic is unusually warm, extreme winter weather is two-to-four times more likely in the eastern U.S.

Think of the Arctic as our early warning system, a big screaming alarm that is alerting us to the fact that the planet we will live on tomorrow is nothing like the planet we lived on yesterday, and we better get ready

The Melting Arctic Is a Real-Time Horror Story — Why Doesn’t Anyone Care?https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/arctic-ice-melting-716647/ This summer’s epic wildfires and other extreme weather events have a root cause By 

September 3, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Opposition to release of Fukushima radioactive tritium water into the sea; longterm storage the better option

Fukushima water release into sea faces chorus of opposition  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox?compose=DmwnWtDqNzxklZTsLVvsRFtgBQZHzxshPgMCgrVGpNqZnjrqDwNNWbPprDwxPlNFzCVZnfDvsQwVCitizens and environmental groups have expressed opposition to the idea of releasing into the ocean water tainted with tritium, a radioactive substance, from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.“Long-term storage (of the tritium-containing water) is possible from technical and economic standpoints,” Komei Hosokawa, 63, an official of the Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy, said at a public hearing held in Tokyo on Friday by a subcommittee of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. “The radiation levels in the water will decrease during the long-term storage,” he added.

At a similar hearing held the same day in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Aki Hashimoto, a housewife from the city, said, “I never want to see further worsening of ocean pollution from radiation.”

Opinions objecting to the release of the tritium-contaminated water into the ocean were also heard at a hearing held in the Fukushima town of Tomioka on Thursday.

After Friday’s hearings, Ichiro Yamamoto, who heads the subcommittee, told reporters that many participants in the hearings said the tainted water should continue to be held in storage tanks.

The subcommittee will study the option of keeping the water in the tanks, he added.

Tepco is lowering the radiation levels in contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 plant using special equipment, but the device cannot remove tritium.

The tritium-tainted water is stored in tanks within the premises of the power plant, which was heavily damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In 2016, an expert panel of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy discussed five methods to dispose of the tritium-tainted water —injection deep into the ground, release into the sea after dilution, release into the air through evaporation, conversion into hydrogen through electrolysis, and burying it after it is solidified.

The panel estimated that the ocean release is the cheapest option, costing up to about ¥3.4 billion.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

Karl Grossman on the nuclear weaponisation of space

Janine Jackson interviewed Karl Grossman about the the weaponization of space for the August 24, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

CounterSpin Karl Grossman Interview 

LA Times: Pence says Pentagon Should Create ‘Space Force’
LA Times story (8/9/18) goes from “would” to “will” on Space Force.
Janine Jackson: While the internet treated it largely as a kind of painful joke, corporate news media reported the Trump White House’s plans to establish a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the US military as almost an inevitability: A Los Angeles Times story slips from saying the force “would be” responsible for training military personnel to saying the space command “will centralize planning for space war-fighting.” The pushback reported is from those concerned about “bureaucracy,” or changes in the “roles and budgets” of existing military branches. There are details to be worked out—even such “basic” ones, says a Washington Post front-pager, as “what uniforms” the space force would use. But coverage presents potential opposition to the plan, from congressmembers, for example, more as a “hurdle” than a cause for deeper investigation.

Karl Grossman is a preeminent resource on the weaponization of space. He’s professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, and author of the books Weapons in Space and The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet, among others. He’s also a longtime associate of FAIR, the media watch group that brings you this show. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Karl Grossman.

Karl Grossman: A pleasure to be with you, Janine.

JJ: We can ask how media can report the statement, from the bipartisan leaders of the Armed Services Committee Panel on Strategic Forces, that “beefing up” military capabilities in space “will result in a safer, stronger America,” with no thought to whether terrestrial war-making has made America safer or stronger, but we know that elite media takes place in this sort of la-la land where those presumptions are premises.

But I want to ask you about the more specific claim being made, and simply recited in the press, about the nature of this plan: USA Today says it “would develop forces to defend satellites from attack and perform other space-related tasks.” It says the Pentagon’s plan “identifies”—doesn’t allege, but identifies—Russia and China as “explicitly pursuing space war-fighting capabilities to neutralize US space capabilities in a time of conflict.” What are we to make, Karl Grossman, of the idea that creating a space force is a defensive measure?

KG: What we would be doing is opening the heavens to war, making space a war zone, and that flies in the face of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which sets space aside for peaceful purposes, and precludes the deployment in space, by any nation, of weapons of mass destruction. And there’s been efforts—I’ve covered them for years now; mainstream media has not covered these efforts—to broaden the Outer Space Treaty to preclude not just weapons of mass destruction, but any weaponry in space, and in that way ensure that it would be space for peace.

And the two countries that have been leaders in this effort have been Russia and China. In fact, I have here a piece from Chinese media, this was just a couple of weeks ago, “China Envoy Calls for Strengthening Outer Space Covenants and Cooperation.” What Russia and China—and let me mention, too, our neighbor Canada—have been promoting, pushing, has been a treaty titled Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, the PAROS treaty.

And I’ve been actually to the United Nations for votes on the PAROS treaty. And one country after another country votes for it—again, with Russia, China and our neighbor Canada in the lead. And the one nation, in all the countries of the world, voting against the PAROS treaty? The United States. And because there’s a consensus process for a disarmament treaty, the PAROS treaty has gotten nowhere. So what we’d be doing by creating this Space Force, and seeking, as Trump put it, “American dominance” in space, is just really asking for Russia and China and other countries—there will be India and Pakistan, the list will go on—to go up into space and weaponize space.

JJ: So it’s really turned on its head; it’s being presented, in the words, largely, of Mike Pence and other officials, that it’s “our adversaries,” as it’s put, that have already transformed space into a war-fighting domain—those are their words—and so, therefore, the US has to get up there to respond.

KG: I must say, China did a real stupid thing in the year 2007. It used one of its missiles to destroy an obsolete Chinese satellite. And the next year, we did the same thing to one of our satellites, with a missile. And this is being used by the US as an example of China being keen on anti-satellite weaponry. In fact, what is was was a very dumb way to eliminate a satellite, because you’re left with all kind of debris—dumb on the Chinese part, and dumb for the United States to do the same thing the year after.

But up to now, China and Russia—and I’ve spoken to officials of both countries, and I’ve been to both countries; I’ve been on the story for a long time—and they’re very, very reluctant to violate the intent of the Outer Space Treaty. Also, and they’ve gone on and on with me about this, they don’t want to waste their national treasuries; they don’t want to expend—I mean, to put weaponry up in space is an expensive proposition; it isn’t like acquiring a tank or even a jet fighter; billions and billions of dollars would be the cost—and they’ve told me that they just don’t want to waste their money on placing weapons in space. However, if the US moves up into space with weapons, with this mission to dominate the Earth below from space, despite the cost, they’ll be up there.

JJ: I’ve read a lot about satellites, Karl, but a word that I haven’t seen much of in this current round of coverage is nuclear. But that’s got to be in the story, right?

Karl Grossman: “Consider the consequences of a shooting war: Battle platforms are hit, and radioactivity from these nuclear reactors rains down on Earth.”
KG: Absolutely. In moving up into space, with the Space Force, no doubt the United States will be placing nuclear power systems in space. That was the architecture of Reagan’s Star Wars, orbiting battle platforms with nuclear reactors on them providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons; as Star Wars head general James Abrahamson said, without reactors in orbit, there would need to be a long, long extension cord that goes down to the surface of the Earth, bringing up power. Consider the consequences of a shooting war: Battle platforms are hit, and radioactivity from these nuclear reactors rains down on Earth.

JJ: You really are not getting the picture of, not just things going wrong, but things going as they might be anticipated to go, being, really, a horrific calamity for human beings. It’s a very tidy image that we’re getting about what war in space would be like.

KG: This lethal threat would be above our heads. I did a documentary a number of years ago, entitled, advisedly, Nukes in Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens. And nukes and weapons in space, they go together.

JJ: And I wanted to ask you about that question of priorities, finally. The Washington Post had an article headlined “Potential Winners if a Space Force Flies,” which delivered the no doubt shocking news that “a group of government contractors sees a chance to profit.” Hold onto your hat! An analyst tells the Post, “Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Harris Corporation may be particularly well positioned to benefit from Trump’s Space Force.” I found it odd to present military contractors as sort of savvily responding to policy, as opposed to driving it, but then, to your point, there was vanishingly little reference in media coverage to who would not benefit from this allocation of funds, to what would be lost, to what would be harmed, and so I wanted to underscore that point that you made, just to say, media didn’t talk about it either.

And then, finally, what do you see as the role for the public in this, where can people focus in terms of speaking out on this issue?

“Space Force” looks to be a coup for the military industrial complex (LA Times, 8/18/18).
KG: Just a quick mention of a very important piece, in regards to mainstream media, I was so happy to see it, in the Los Angeles Times, this is just a couple of days ago, the headline, “Trump Backed ‘Space Force’”—in quotes—“After Months of Lobbying by Officials With Ties to the Aerospace Industry.” And listeners can Google that; it’s very, very detailed, talks about

a small group of current and former government officials, some with deep financial ties to the aerospace industry, who see creation of the sixth military service as a surefire way to hike Pentagon spending on satellite and other space systems.
So on this issue, we can at this point, there’s been enough documentation, to include the “follow the money” precept.

As to what people can do, we have to rise from the grassroots. An excellent organization, that I would recommend that people connect with, is the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Its website is Space4Peace.org, and among other things, the Global Network will be doing, October 6–13 this year, they’re going to—all over the world, this is going to be happening—protests and other actions in a Space for Peace week. So from the grassroots, people—certainly in this country, and all over the world—need to stand up and to stop this madness, to keep space for peace.

JJ: We’ve been speaking with Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury. You can find his recent article, “Turning Space Into a War Zone,” on CounterPunch. Karl Grossman, thank you so much for joining us this week on CounterSpin.

KG: A pleasure, Janine.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment