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TEPCO firmly at fault for balking at payouts to disaster victims

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Tomoaki Kobayakawa, left, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., meets with Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori in June 2018.
February 9, 2019
The proposals rejected by TEPCO call for larger payments than the amounts suggested in the guidelines set by the Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation, a committee within the education and science ministry.
The dispute resolution center, established to facilitate compensation payments to people who have suffered damage from the Fukushima accident, has successfully mediated more than 18,000 settlement agreements, but the institution is now facing a brick wall.
The utility has refused to accept many ADR deals proposed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center in response to collective requests from groups of residents in areas around the Fukushima No.
It has promised to pay compensation to all victims “down to the last one,” ensure “swift and considerate” payments and “respect” settlement proposals made by the dispute resolution center.
The center was established by the government in 2011 to help settle compensation disputes between TEPCO and victims of the nuclear accident.
Nearly eight years have passed since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, yet many victims seeking compensation for damages from Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled nuclear plant, face uncertainty as the talks are getting nowhere.
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February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

IAEA Urges Patience For Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup

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February 8th, 2019
 
“Despite these achievements, many challenges remain to be tackled in the decommissioning process, and ensuring safety in this complex situation requires sustained daily attention.” The new report follows up on original analysis presented to Japanese authorities in November and finds that the “risk reduction strategy is being implemented at a pace commensurate with the challenges of the site-specific situation.” That being said, however, “the IAEA Review Team continues to identify water management as critical to the sustainability of decommissioning activities” and has urged for a decision for the disposition of contaminated water to “be taken urgently engaging all stakeholders.” Specifically, the IAEA Review Team determined that it is necessary to determine an end-game for the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) sooner rather than later, considering that “the volume of ALPS treated water [is] expected to reach the planned tank capacity of 1.37 million [metres-cubed] within the coming three to four years, and considering current site facility plan for space allocations, and that further treatment and control of the stored water before disposition would be needed for implementation of any of the five solutions considered by the Japanese Government.” (For more on TEPCO’s contaminated water treatment, see here.) Further, but regarding the retrieval and end-game of radioactive fuel debris, the report’s authors state that “there should be a clear implementation plan defined to safely manage the retrieved material” and that “TEPCO should ensure that appropriate containers and storage capacity are available before starting the fuel debris retrieval.” There is therefore need for immediate decisionmaking but long-term patience and goals in place to thoroughly address the large amount of radioactive and contaminated waste.
 
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/08/iaea-urges-patience-for-fukushima-nuclear-cleanup/

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to survey suspected fuel debris in reactor

 

February 7, 2019
 
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will conduct the first contact survey on suspected fuel debris inside one of the reactors. The device has a maximum length of 15 meters, making it possible to reach the area directly below the reactor core where the suspected fuel debris is located.
 
TEPCO says it can plan a sampling survey if the debris may be moved. TEPCO says the tip of the device will touch and pinch the debris. The company says it hopes to assess how hard the debris is and whether it can be moved.
 
TEPCO says it will begin a comprehensive debris retrieval operation in 2021. The firm adds that the information obtained will be used to assemble removal equipment even if the debris cannot be moved.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Thursday that it will insert the measurement device into the containment vessel of the No.2 reactor next Wednesday.
 
The firm plans to decide by March of next year which reactor it will first work on.
 

 

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

‘We were driven out’: Fukushima’s radioactive legacy

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In March 2017, the government lifted its evacuation order for the center of Namie.
“This is the worst time, the most painful period.” For the people of Namie and other towns near the Fukushima plant, the pain is sharpened by the way the Japanese government is trying to move beyond the tragedy, to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a symbol of hope and recovery, a sign that life can return to normal after a disaster of this magnitude.
If we give up, we would lose our town, and as mayor, I will work with all my heart to prevent that.” But many residents say the central government is being heavy-handed in its attempts to persuade people to return, failing to support residents’ efforts to build new communities in places like Nihonmatsu, and then ending compensation payments within a year of evacuation orders being lifted.
In other towns around the nuclear plant, people have complained that arbitrarily decided compensation payouts — more for people deemed to have been in radiation-affected zones, far less for tsunami victims, nothing for people just a mile outside the zone most affected — have divided communities and caused resentment and friction.
“This is a place desperate to attract people to return, but this reduces our attractiveness for young people,” said Riken Komatsu in the fishing port of Onahama, who is working to rebuild a sense of community and raise awareness about problems with the reconstruction effort.
The biggest tragedy now is the high rate of suicides.” Kazuhiro Yoshida, the embattled mayor of Namie, said fears about radiation are not the only reason people aren’t returning; many complain the deserted town lacks amenities.
“The scale of the problem is clearly not something the government wants to communicate to the Japanese people, and that’s driving the whole issue of the return of evacuees,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace.
It says radiation levels in parts of Namie where evacuation orders have been lifted will remain well above international maximum safety recommendations for many decades, raising the risks of leukemia and other cancers to “unjustifiable levels,” especially for children.
In the rural areas around the town, radiation levels are much higher and could remain unsafe for people beyond the end of this century, Greenpeace concluded in a 2018 report. Greenpeace has been taking thousands of radiation readings for years in the towns around the Fukushima nuclear plant.
“The idea that an industrial accident closes off an area of Japan, with its limited habitable land, for generations and longer — that would just remind the public why they are right to be opposed to nuclear power.”
Four-fifths of Namie’s geographical area is mountain and forest, impossible to decontaminate, still deemed unsafe to return.
When it rains, the radioactive cesium in the mountains flows into rivers and underground water sources close to the town.
Komatsu says reconstruction has been imposed from above, a problem he says reflects, in a broader sense, what Japan is like.
Today, Namie’s former residents are scattered across all but one of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
“For the past eight years, we have seen the destruction of the area, the destruction of the community, and it will be difficult to bring people back,” he said.
With young people moving away, the elderly, who already feel the loss of Namie most acutely, find themselves even more alone.
Now, the damage is more severe because young people are not returning. The elderly who come back feel pessimism and depression.
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be staged in Fukushima, the prefecture’s bustling and radiation-free capital city, and the Olympic torch relay will start from here.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

The State of Nuclear Emergency Declared after the Fukushima Meltdown is Still On Today!!!

medical situation
1. Radioactive contaminated water still keeps accumulating:
2. High-level radiation from Fukushima plant is still being emitted daily.
3. Unfairness of forcing Fukushima residents to live with radiation up to 20 mSv/year.
4.Termination of housing allowance for “voluntary” evacuees from Fukushima, a serious violation of human rights.
5. The number of children with thyroid cancer is increasing although the government refuses to recognize the accident as its cause.
6.Recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council to the Japanese government (UNHRC, Oct. 2018)
The government is obliged:
6.1. to prevent and minimize, as much as possible, children from being exposed to radiation;
6.2. to change back from “20 mSv” to “1 mSv” per year standard before retracting evacuation orders, especially for children and women of childbearing age;
6.3. to not pressurize families to return to Fukushima by terminating housing allowance. (United Nations Human Rights Council, October 2018)
Source: The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | 1 Comment

Having to conform to newly approved European copyright Law

Due to the newly approved stricter European copyright law, I have no other choice but to change the way to share articles here on the Nuclear News blog. This means that from now on I can only share partially one article with its link.

 

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February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

U.S. Congress needs to look hard at the rationale for a fast reactor program.

 

Are Washington’s ‘Advanced’ Reactors a Nuclear Waste?
Congress needs to look hard at the rationale for a fast reactor program.https://nationalinterest.org/feature/are-washington%E2%80%99s-advanced-reactors-nuclear-waste-43797, 
by Victor Gilinsky Henry Sokolski

Late last year, the Energy Department (DOE), began work on a new flagship nuclear project, the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), a sodium-cooled fast reactor. If completed, the project will dominate nuclear power research at DOE. The department’s objective is to provide the groundwork for building lots of fast-power reactors. This was a dream of the old Atomic Energy Commission, DOE’s predecessor agency. The dream is back. But before this goes any further, Congress needs to ask, what is the question to which the VTR is the answer? It won’t be cheap and there are some serious drawbacks in cost, safety, but mainly in its effect on nonproliferation.

Congress has to ask hard questions: Is there an economic advantage to such reactors? Or one in safety? Or is it just what nuclear engineers, national laboratories, and subsidy-hungry firms would like to do?

The answer of DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, which would operate the reactor, is cast in terms of engineering and patriotic goals, not economic ones: “US technological leadership in the area of fast reactor systems . . . is critical for our national security. These systems are likely to be deployed around the globe and U.S. leadership in associated safety and security policies is in our best national interest.” In other words, we need to build fast reactors because DOE thinks other people will be building them, and we need to stay ahead.

In the 1960s, when the Atomic Energy Commission concentrated on fast reactors (“fast” because they don’t use a moderator to slow down neutrons in the reactor core), it argued with a certain plausibility that uranium ore was too scarce to provide fuel for large numbers of conventional light-water reactors that “burned” only a couple percent of their uranium fuel. Fast reactors offered the possibility, at least in principle, of using essentially all of the mined uranium as fuel, and thus vastly expanding the fuel supply. To do this you operate them as breeder reactors—making more fuel (that is, using excess neutrons available in fast reactors to convert inert uranium to plutonium) than they consume to produce energy. The possibility of doing so is the principal advantage of fast reactors.

But we then learned there are vast deposits of uranium worldwide, and at the same time many fewer nuclear reactors were installed than were originally projected, so there is no foreseeable fuel shortage. Not only that, the reprocessing of fuel, which is intrinsic to fast reactor operation, has turned out to be vastly more expensive than projected. Finally, by all accounts fast reactors would be more expensive to build than conventional ones, the cost of which is already out of sight. In short, there is no economic argument for building fast reactors.

When it comes to safety, sodium-cooled fast reactors operate under low pressure, which is an advantage. But fast reactors are worrisome because, whereas a change in the configuration of a conventional nuclear core—say, squeezing it tighter—makes it less reactive, the corresponding result in a fast reactor is to make it more reactive, potentially leading to an uncontrolled chain reaction.

With regard to nonproliferation, the issue that mainly concerns us is that the fast reactor fuel cycle depends on reprocessing and recycling of its plutonium fuel (or uranium 233 if using thorium instead of uranium). Both plutonium and uranium 233 are nuclear explosives. Widespread use of fast reactors for electricity generation implies large quantities of nuclear explosives moving through commercial channels. It will not be possible to restrict such use to a small number of countries. The consequent proliferation dangers are obvious. And while it is doubtful the U.S. fast reactor project will lead to commercial exploitation—few, if any, projects from DOE ever do—U.S. pursuit of this technology would encourage other countries interested in this technology, like Japan and South Korea, to do so.

One should add that one of the claims of enthusiasts for recycling spent fuel in fast reactors is that it permits simpler waste management. This is a complicated issue, but the short answer is that rather than simplifying, reprocessing and recycling complicate the waste disposal process.

With all these concerns, and the lack of a valid economic benefit, why does the Energy Department want to start an “aggressive” and expensive program of fast reactor development? It’s true that so far only exploratory contracts have been let, on the order of millions of dollars (to GE-Hitachi). But the Department is already leaning awfully far forward in pursuing the VTR. It estimates the total cost to be about $2 billion, but that’s in DOE-speak. We’ve learned that translates into several times that amount.

But beyond that, the nuclear engineering community, and the wider community of nuclear enthusiasts, have never given up the 1960s AEC dream of a fast breeder-driven, plutonium-fueled world. Such reactors were to have been deployed by 1980 and were to take over electricity generation by 2000. It didn’t even get off the ground, in part because of AEC managerial incompetence, but mainly because it didn’t make sense.

After the 1974 Indian nuclear explosion and the realization that any country with a small reactor and a way to separate a few kilograms of plutonium could make a bomb, proliferation became a serious issue. In 1976 President Gerald Ford announced that we should not rely on plutonium until the world could reliably control its dangers as a bomb material. The plutonium devotees never accepted this change. Jimmy Carter froze construction of an ongoing fast-breeder prototype, the Clinch River Reactor, about three time the size of the proposed VTR. Ronald Reagan tried to revive it but, as its rationale thinned and its cost mounted, Congress shut it down in 1983. The plutonium enthusiasts thought they got their chance under George W. Bush with a fast reactor and a reprocessing and recycling program under of the rubric of Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. But it was so poorly thought out it didn’t go anywhere. More or less the same laboratory participants are now pushing the VTR.

The DOE advanced reactor program has many irons in the fire, mostly in the small reactor category. But do not be misled. They are mostly small potatoes without much future. Only the fast reactor project is the real thing, bureaucratically, that is. Although at this point DOE has only contracted for conceptual design, the follow-up will cost many millions and take many years. Nothing attracts national laboratories, industrial firms, and Washington bureaucracies as much as the possibility of locking into a large multiyear source of funding.

Congress needs to look hard at the rationale for a fast reactor program. This means getting into the details. At a Senate Appropriations hearing last month on advanced reactors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said rather plaintively, “We cast the votes, and cross our fingers hoping nothing bad will happen.” That’s not good enough.

Victor Gilinsky is program advisor for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) in Arlington, Virginia. He served on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. Henry Sokolski is executive director of NPEC and the author of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (second edition 2019). He served as deputy for nonproliferation policy in the office of the U.S. secretary of defense in the Cheney Pentagon.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Reference, reprocessing, USA | Leave a comment

Likely areas of Wales to be targeted for nuclear waste dumping

Dumping England’s nuclear mud in Wales

most lethal nuclear waste

Here’s what the Government’s geologists had to say about the area in which you live, Wales Online By Nathan Bevan, 10 FEB 2019 

Meetings are to be held in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste.

People in two areas – Swansea and Llandudno – are to be consulted as part of the Government-run Radioactive Waste Management’s hunt for “a willing host community” where the lethal stockpile can be buried hundreds of metres underground over decades to come.

There are also meetings in eight areas of England as the government hunts for a single location to bury the lethal waste.

The waste, which has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years, is to be transferred from specially-engineered containers where it is currently building up to a subterranean Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) where it can be left forever.

The government’s official line is that no location has been chosen and that any site will only be picked if a community is willing.

Experts at the RWM (a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) have been scouring Wales for suitable regions and this is what they have to say about the area in which you live:

1. North Wales offshore including the Vale of Clwyd……….

2. North Wales Coalfield, comprising Wrexham and north to Prestatyn…….

3. From St Brides Bay to the Severn Estuary, extending north to Welshpool……

4. 20 km offshore strip along the Bristol Channel – from Carmarthen Bay to Cardiff…..

5. Most of North Wales and West Wales – from  St Davids to Bangor……

6. Mostly offshore between St Davids and Caernarfon, with a small onshore area south of Harlech  ……. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/parts-wales-being-looked-sites-15805907

February 11, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Potentially criminal activity in Trump campaign – a nuclear connection

Report: Trump Inaugural Committee Under Investigation for Possible Finance Crime, Slate By “………..Prosecutors also asked for documents from Tennessee developer Franklin Haney, the Journal reported. Haney made a $1 million donation to the inaugural committee and, in April, hired Cohen to help him obtain a $5 billion loan from the U.S. government, among other funding, for a pair of nuclear reactors in Alabama. Prosecutors asked him for documents related to any correspondence with members of the committee.  ……

This investigation opens another possible route of inquiry into potentially criminal behavior by those in Trump’s orbit during the campaign and transition period. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/trump-inaugural-committee-federal-investigation.html

February 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Secret USA nuclear base in Greenland revealed

Secret Underground Nuclear City In The Arctic | A Potential Threat

WW3 FEARS: Pentagon’s secret underground tunnels of MOBILE NUCLEAR bases REVEALED    THE US government built a fully-functioning mobile nuclear base below the ice of Greenland in preparation for war, it was revealed during a documentary. https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1084951/ww3-fears-pentagon-mobile-nuclear-base-greenland-spt In 1960, the United States ran a highly publicised project known as Camp Century on the island to study the feasibility of working below the ice. However, declassified files show it was actually a cover-up for a top-secret Cold War programme. Project Iceworm was the code name for the United States Army’s mission to build a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites.

The ultimate objective was to place medium-range missiles under the ice — close enough to strike targets within the Soviet Union.

YouTube series “The Real Secrets of Antarctica” revealed how the project came to light in January 1995.

The 2017 documentary detailed: “Some very interesting disclosures were declassified about US military installations in Greenland which took place in the 1960s.

“They fed the American people a highly publicised story about advances in research and building an underground city below Greenland called Camp Century.

Only later did the truth about Project Iceworm surface.

“The Pentagon was attempting to put in place mobile nuclear launching sites to utilise thousands of miles of tunnels.”

Project Iceworm was to be a system of tunnels 2,500 miles in length, used to deploy up to 600 nuclear missiles, that would be able to reach the Soviet Union in case of nuclear war.

The missile locations would be under the cover of Greenland’s ice sheet and were supposed to be periodically changed.

A total of 21 trenches were cut and covered with arched roofs within which prefabricated buildings were erected.

These tunnels also contained a hospital, a shop, a theatre, and a church and the total number of inhabitants was around 200.

From 1960 until 1963 the electricity supply was provided by means of the world’s first mobile nuclear reactor, named PM-2A.

Water was supplied by melting glaciers and tested to determine whether germs were present, including tests for the plague virus.

However, just three years after it was built, ice core samples taken by geologists demonstrated that the glacier was moving much faster than anticipated and would destroy the tunnels and planned launch stations in about two years.

The facility was evacuated in 1965, and the nuclear generator removed.

Project Iceworm was canceled, and Camp Century closed in 1966.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Green New Deal goes to Washington — Beyond Nuclear International

But can its largely youthful supporters hold the nuclear lobby at bay?

via The Green New Deal goes to Washington — Beyond Nuclear International

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A return to Greenham Common? — Beyond Nuclear International

US withdrawal from INF could make Europe a nuclear battleground again

via A return to Greenham Common? — Beyond Nuclear International

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Lessons About The Contemporary State Of Fossil Fuels – Venezuela-Style” • Let’s look at Venezuela, which is in trouble despite vast oil resources, and try to understand why it’s suddenly unable to extract them. The lesson from one country may be instructive to other oil-producing countries around the world – like the US. […]

via February 10 Energy News — geoharvey

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Democrats vs. Fascists — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Trump and Republicans such as Mitch McConnell want the U. S. to become a Fascist country controlled by and for the wealthy. Sanders and Progressives such as AOC want the country to become a Social Democracy ruled by equality and concern for people and the environment.

via Social Democrats vs. Fascists — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seven take-aways from the Green New Deal launch — RenewEconomy

Sweeping in scope, an agenda to transform the US into a green leader has been launched in Washington DC, here are the key points. The post Seven take-aways from the Green New Deal launch appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Seven take-aways from the Green New Deal launch — RenewEconomy

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment