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Tour brings foreigners to areas devastated by nuclear accident

The strategy of the organizers of these “Tours” participate fully to the Japanese government aim, without realizing it, to make believe that the “radioactivity” there is not dangerous.  Oh, there, what a world.
February 17, 2019
“There is growing interest among foreign tourists for a tour in English to former evacuation zones in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima where a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered a nuclear disaster.
“More people are becoming interested in going on the tour that can deepen their knowledge,” explains an official at the Japan National Tourism Organization.
The tourism company Knot World Co. based in Tokyo designed this particular tour from a desire to encourage more people to “hear the local voices and see the area’s damage and recovery” after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Since the tour’s launch in February last year, some 200 people from 23 countries have participated, according to the company.
Fukushima Prefecture says 96,000 foreign tourists stayed at hotels and inns in the prefecture in 2017, which is four times the number in 2011. In February this year, an organization that promotes the prefecture’s products and tourism launched a three-day tour with English translation in areas including Naraha, another town in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear plant, to aid recovery.
However, there are numerous issues that need to be resolved regarding tours catering to foreigners such as training tour guides and providing information in various languages.
Various thoughts are voiced in Fukushima Prefecture such as, “We would really like the tourists to come not out of casual interest but to truly learn the issue,” and, “Please also turn your attention to the fact that our lives before the accident has not returned,” local officials said.”

February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO sat by idly on reports of fires, glitches at nuclear plants


Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant

February 14, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. ignored reports on fires and other problems from its nuclear power plants and didn’t even bother to share the information in-house or consider precautionary measures, the nuclear watchdog revealed.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Feb. 13 it will investigate the failure by TEPCO’s headquarters to tackle the problems reported by its three facilities: the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture and the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants, both in Fukushima Prefecture.
A TEPCO official said that the company put off tackling the problems because the deadline for dealing with such matters “was not clearly stated.”
NRA safety inspectors visited the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant from November through December last year.
They found that the division at company headquarters in charge of dealing with safety issues and sharing that information neglected reports of four problems that had occurred at the plant.
They cited 17 cases at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant; five cases at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and seven problems at the headquarters itself.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japanese, Navajo share views when it comes to their livestock

I did travel to the U.S. to attend the International Uranium Film Festival in Window Rock, Arizona, capital of the Navajo nation. The Navajo land located between four states, has been highly contaminated by the uranium mining industry for the past 70 years, their cattle, sheeps, and their life deeply affected. Death omnipresent in every family, unaccounted number of deaths, the Navjo lives not a high priority to a discriminating U.S. Federal Government.

2018 window Rock uranium P1015186.JPG
By Marley Shebala, Dec 3, 2018
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. РJapanese cattle farmers may live more than 5,680 miles from the Navajo Nation, but they are connected to the Din̩ people by their fierce love for their livestock.
In the film, “Nuclear Cat tle,” a middle-age Japanese couple recall with a flood of tears the day that they were forced to drive past their cattle and flee for their lives from their cattle farm and home that they built because of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The husband, who was speaking Japanese, said, “When we were leaving, I couldn’t stop crying. I told them (the cows) I was sorry.”
On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake and tsunami caused Japan’s worst nuclear accident, which involved the disabling of the power supply and cooling of three-Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors that melted three nuclear cores in the first three days, forced the evacuation of about 160,000 people, and the death of about 19,000 residents living along the northeast coast of Japan.
‘Nuclear Cattle’
“Nuclear Cattle,” focused on how the deadly aftermath of the disaster impacted cattle, including those owned by the Japanese couple and other Japanese farmers.
There are massive numbers of carcasses of cows that were left tied to stalls in barns. The few cows that are still alive are emaciated and lying on the ground slowly dying. But then the film shows herds of cattle wandering around evacuated residential areas and towns.
The Japanese couple, who have returned to their cattle farm, which is still contaminated by radiation, look at their surviving cattle and remember the day the Japanese government ordered all the cattle farmers to kill their cows that survived. The husband says, “I feel alive when I come home.”
The wife of another Japanese couple that has also returned to their contaminated farm and home to save their cattle, says her husband told her he would not mind if he dies at home with his cattle.
Surviving cattle
A worker on another cattle farm, which became a haven for surviving cows and is called Farm of Hope, says he returned to his work station without the owners because he could not allow the cows that survived the disaster to die from starvation and dehydration.
He also says that even through the Japanese government tells the farmers that their cows are financially worthless, he Dana Eldridge attends the International Uranium Film Festival at the Navajo Nation Muse um in Window Rock, Arizona, Thursday. Alma E. Hernandez/Independent
Government revenues
Courtois said the nuclear plants generate revenues for the government, which has also pushed the government to hire a public relations firm to spin lies after lies to their people about the safety of nuclear energy.
He said the government reported to their people that the cattle farmers and other residential areas were being successfully decontaminated by scraping off the surface of the land, bagging the earth and depositing at one of extremely dangerous contaminated cattle farms, which is surrounded by lush green forests and within view of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company.
But, Courtois said, the government and T.E.P.Co. withhold information about how the radiation has seeped lower into the earth and how they cannot scrape the top soil from the forest areas, which means that when it rains, the runoff re-contaminates the surface.
“Nuclear Cattle” was one of several films shown for free at the Navajo Nation Museum as part of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival, which started Thursday and ends Saturday night. But if you missed the film festival at the museum, you have a chance to attend the one-day festival at the Native American Cultural Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, Sunday.
The festival will also travel to Grants, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Tucson, Arizona.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Unit 2 of Genkai NPP will be decommissioned.

Unit 3 and 4 of Genkai are still operating.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it will scrap No. 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, seen in the forefront left of this photo taken in January
Feb 13, 2019
FUKUOKA – Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has decided to scrap its aging No. 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture.
The utility abandoned a plan to restart the unit, which has an output of 559 megawatts, in the face of the huge costs involved in enhancing the safety of the reactor that is already near the end of its 40-year operating life.
The reactor, which started operating in March 1981, has been idled since a routine checkup shortly before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The Genkai plant consists of four units. The utility already decided in 2015 to scrap its aging No. 1 unit, which had the same output capacity as the No. 2 reactor. Decommissioning work at the No. 1 reactor started in July 2017 and is expected to continue through fiscal 2043.
There have been a number of operational problems at the Genkai power plant. In May last year, pumps installed to control the circulation of cooling water at the No. 4 unit suffered malfunctions, following a steam leak from a pipe at the No. 3 reactor just a week after it was reactivated in March.
Some local residents have sought to stop operation of the Nos. 3 and 4 units with a temporary injunction, with doubts about the safety measures taken and citing the risk of volcanic eruptions in the region. Their case is pending at the Fukuoka High Court.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi: probe touched suspected fuel debris in reactor#2

Images have been released of the reddish-brown amorphous mass. But its level of radioactivity is still unknown, which means that TEPCO has not even reached the earliest stage of its reactor decommissioning process.
I am acutely reminded again of the magnitude of this irreversible mess.
The technology we are left with is an out-of-control monster. And so long as nuclear power plants remain in operation, there is no guarantee that the same nightmare will not recur–even as we speak.

TEPCO: Probe touched suspected fuel debris
February 13, 2019
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says a probe made direct contact with substances believed to be fuel debris at one of the plant’s reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, conducted its first contact survey of suspected fuel debris at the Number 2 reactor on Wednesday.
TEPCO has already confirmed the existence of deposits believed to be a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and structural parts at the bottom of the reactor’s containment vessel.
In Wednesday’s survey, a pole that can extend to 15 meters was sent under the reactor, and the probe was lowered from the end of the pole.
TEPCO plans to take out a small amount of the deposits with a different device in the latter half of the next fiscal year to use them as samples for study.
Officials say the probe was able to touch the deposits without any major trouble.
This is a key survey for devising a way to remove radioactive deposits.
They say they looked into the deposits’ hardness and whether they can be moved.
1st contact made with melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima plant
February 14, 2019
“The probe lifted pebble-like nuclear fuel debris and structural parts up to 8 cm in diameter at five spots in the 2,500-square-cm area that was investigated. It failed to pick up debris at one spot.
TEPCO said the probe could not lift clay-like debris likely because it had adhered to the bottom of the containment vessel.
The probe also touched nuclear fuel debris lying at several spots on the lattice-shaped scaffold for workers directly below the reactor’s pressure vessel.
The previous investigation of the No. 2 reactor in 2017 located melted fuel debris on the scaffold. But a robot deployed for a further investigation broke down on its way to the debris.
In a survey last year, the utility used the rod-like probe to take images of the inside of the reactor.
TEPCO is expected to remove a small amount of nuclear fuel debris in the second half of fiscal 2019 as part of preparations for full-scale retrieval.”

February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

International Red Cross makes a strong call for ban on nuclear weapons

What would a nuclear war look like? And how would anyone be able to help?

What would you choose? Live or die?

The future of humanity hangs in the balance’: Why the world could not handle a nuclear attack . The Journal I.e.  Órla Ryan @orlaryan,, 17 Feb 19

An expert explains how we could be “headed for a nuclear arms race”. NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE probably talked about more nowadays that at any stage since the Cold War.

There are about 14,500 such weapons in the world, with nine countries owning them. The vast majority of the weapons are owned by the US (about 6,500) and Russia (about 6,800).

Tense relations between these two countries, as well as North Korea trying to increase its nuclear capability, has increased fears about a potential nuclear race.

During the week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched a campaign calling for a global ban on nuclear weapons……….



February 18, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Authority investigated Tepco’s failure to report fires, glitches at nuclear plants

  TEPCO sat by idly on reports of fires, glitches at nuclear plants, By YUSUKE OGAWA/ Staff WriterAsahi Shimbun 14th Feb 2019 , Tokyo Electric Power Co. ignored reports on fires and other problems from its nuclear power plants and didn’t even bother to share the information in-house or consider precautionary measures, the nuclear watchdog revealed.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Feb. 13 it will investigate the failure by TEPCO’s headquarters to tackle the problems reported by its three facilities: the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture and the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants, both in Fukushima Prefecture.

A TEPCO official said that the company put off tackling the problems because the deadline for dealing with such matters “was not clearly stated.” TEPCO’s safety regulations stipulate that blazes, glitches in air-conditioning and other problems at nuclear plants must be dealt with by the main office of the operator.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

UK nuclear lobby tries to involve children, as it promotes Hinkley project

Bridgwater Mercury 14th Feb 2019 , MORE than 70 children from local primary schools headed to Hinkley C last week for the official naming ceremony of three enormous tunnel boring machines.

The competition gave 215 primary schools from across Somerset the
opportunity to name the three 1,200 tonne tunnel boring machines that will
soon begin the construction of the new power station’s water inlet and
outfall tunnels. After arriving safely at the construction site by sea and
road, the trio of tunnelling machines will soon be removing 370,000 cubic
metres of earth to enable 3.3 kilometres of tunnels to be built underneath
the seabed. The tunnels will carry seawater to cool the two reactors, the
first of which will see first operation in 2025.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

Offshore wind power can replace UK’s failing nuclear industry

Can offshore energy replace a failing nuclear industry?   The Manufacturer, 12 Feb 2019 by Maddy White

The world’s largest offshore windfarm off the Yorkshire coast is to supply its first power to the UK electricity grid this week. Could it fill the gap left by a failing nuclear industry? When fully operational next year, Hornsea One will be the largest windfarm in the world. Its 174 Siemens 7MW turbines will generate enough electricity (1.2GW) to reportedly power more than one million homes.

The electricity generated by the turbines 120km off of the Yorkshire coast will pass through one of three offshore substations, before being carried by three high voltage subsea cables (245kV).

Danish developer Ørsted’s project propels the offshore wind power sector to a new scale; Hornsea One will cover 407 sqkm – almost eight-times the size of Norwich

Rapid growth for renewables

A clean and sustainable energy supply, and reducing the impacts of climate change has become priority for countries across the globe as part of the Paris Agreement. Climate change was also found, in the World Economic Forum’s global risks report, to be the biggest concern for business in 2019.

The UK committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels, but the question remains just how can this be achieved?

Offshore windfarms could help fulfill this. Additionally it could aid the low carbon power gap created as a result of Hitachi and Toshiba recently scrapping nuclear plant projects in Wales and Cumbria. Hitachi followed Toshiba’s move and halted work on the Welsh site earlier this year due to rising costs………

A failing nuclear industry

Last year renewable energy supplied a record 33% of the UK’s electricity, opposed to 19% from nuclear. As technology advances, renewable energy has become cheaper and the logical energy source.

Hinkley C, the nuclear power plant in Somerset is years behind schedule, and billions over budget. Alongside Hinkley, there were five other plants with nuclear proposals: Moorside (Cumbria), Wylfa (Wales), Oldbury (West Midlands), Bradwell (Essex) and Sizewell (Suffolk).

Three have been scrapped and two are yet to be approved. Of the eight sites currently generating power, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) report that only one is due to be in use by 2030…….

The renewable sector is rapidly growing, its technology advancing and its costs decreasing, while nuclear remains an expensive and complex option that is becoming less appealing.

Can renewable energy be created on the same scale as nuclear? As nuclear power plants shut down and reach their operational expiry date, their contributions to the UK’s energy mix becomes increasingly irrelevant.

With projects like Hornsea One, Two and Three in the pipeline, it seems renewable energy has gained notable momentum and if executed well, could mean its perhaps only a matter of time until nuclear is phased out entirely.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

USA wants to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, but wants tight controls

US will not open door to Saudi Arabia building nuclear weapons, deputy energy secretary says CNBC David Reid 17 Feb 2019 

  • The Trump administration wants to sell its nuclear energy technology to cash-rich Saudi Arabia.
  • To prevent nuclear arms development, the U.S. wants to place tight controls on how the technology can be used.
  • Saudi Arabia has put the U.S. on a shortlist with China, Russia and others to bid for nuclear power projects in the country.

“………….The Saudis have so far refused to rule out their right to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, pointing to neighboring Iran’s ability to do so under the 2015 nuclear agreement that world powers struck with Tehran.

In an interview in March on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the country wasn’t interested in developing weapons but would develop nuclear capability should Iran ever develop a working nuclear bomb.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabian Prince Turki Al-Faisal responded directly to Brouillette’s words, saying the country had more options than just U.S. technology.

“Well the nuclear energy market is open. It is not just the United States that is providing nuclear technology,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Munich.

“We have France, we have Russia, we have China. We have our friends in Pakistan and in other places as well, so if they want to remove themselves from that market, well, that’s up to them.”

February 18, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The demise of U.S.-Russian Arms Pact brings world leaders to fear a new arms race, a new Cold War

Nuclear Fears Haunt Leaders With U.S.-Russian Arms Pact’s Demise, Bloomberg, By Henry MeyerMarc Champion, and Patrick DonahueWith assistance by Andrea Dudik, February 17, 2019

  • Arms-race specter raises alarm at global security conference
  •  Looming standoff revives memory of 1962 Cuban missile crisis
  • President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark arms control treaty with Russia is turning the worst fears of a dangerous weapons race into reality.

The U.S. and its allies are laying the groundwork to deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe for the first time since they were banned in a 1987 treaty, a move that would prompt a tit-for-tat Russian response. With a second nuclear pact likely to expire in two years, the risks of confrontation are growing.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s top civilian, cited recent Russian deployments and evoked a Cold War-style threat of nuclear destruction at a global conference of security and defense officials this weekend in Munich, the baroque German metropolis that’s one of Europe’s richest cities.

  • These missiles are mobile, easy to hide and nuclear-capable,” Stoltenberg said. “They can reach European cities, like Munich, with little warning.”

As U.S. officials accused Russia of provoking the crisis by violating the accord, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a sense of alarm that’s spreading in Europe as the two big powers trade blame.

We’re stuck with the consequences,” she said Saturday. At the same time, “blind rearmament can’t be the answer.”

Cold War Echoes

The looming standoff puts Washington and Moscow on a path back to the era of the 1950s and 1960s when the two superpowers were rapidly building up their strategic forces. It risks destroying decades of arms control efforts under which the rivals accepted limits on their arsenals in the wake of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, which took them to the brink of a nuclear clash.

………. Intercontinental Arsenals

The concerns about the potential for an armed build-up in Europe are amplified by the fact that New START, the last such arms control agreement still in place, looks set to expire in 2021.

Under New START, which followed from the 1991 START treaty and was signed in 2010, the Russian and U.S. arsenals are restricted to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads on no more than 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers. Each side can inspect the other’s arsenals 18 times a year.

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Munich that Russia is ready to hold talks on extending New START for another five years, while complaining that the Trump administration is unwilling to have any “meaningful consultations” on the issue.

His deputy in charge of arms control, Sergei Ryabkov, warned that the collapse of the treaty “would be another extraordinary shock for the arms control system.”

Back to the ’70s?

The most frightening thing is when in the absence of information, the two sides will have to go back to the logic of seeking a military advantage,” said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament. “It means we’ll have to spend vast resources and confront the risk for each other and the entire world of a direct armed clash.”

  • The INF treaty was a response to a regional arms race that began with the Soviet deployment of SS-20 missiles in the European theater in 1977. The U.S. responded by deploying Pershing II missiles with a similar range. At one point, almost 3,000 intermediate-range nuclear weapons were stationed in Europe and it took a decade to end the standoff.

Closer to Russia

With the Iron Curtain gone, the difference is that now the missiles would be deployed in eastern Europe or in former Soviet republics, closer to key Russian political, military and industrial facilities.

  • The U.S. has proposed replacing the INF with a broader treaty bringing in other military powers, including China. That’s considered unlikely: of China’s 501 land-based missile launchers, 431 would be covered by the INF treaty, so agreeing to a ban on intermediate-range weapons would require destroying 80 percent of this arsenal, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Losing the pact without any replacement would make it impossible for either side to know whether newly deployed missiles are nuclear or conventional, said Francois Heisbourg, a former French diplomat and Defense Ministry adviser.

It means that military planners have to assume the worst, and that is very destabilizing.”

February 18, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vast replenishing of world’s forests could cancel out humans’greenhouse emissions

Independent 16th Feb 2019 Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human
emissions, according to an ambitious new study. Scientists have established
there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods
and abandoned land across the planet. If such a goal were accomplished,
ecologist Dr Thomas Crowther said it would outstrip every other method for
tackling climate change – from building wind turbines to vegetarian

February 18, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

U.S. Dept. of Justice sues CBand I AREVA MOX Services for false claims

Dept. of Justice 14th Feb 2019 The Department of Justice announced today that the United States has filed suit against CB&I AREVA MOX Services LLC (MOX Services) and Wise Services Inc. under the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in connection with a contract between MOX Services and the National Nuclear Security
Administration relating to the design and operation of the MOX Fuel
Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at the NNSA Savannah River Site in Aiken, South
MOX Services is a South Carolina Limited Liability Corporation with headquarters in Aiken, South Carolina. Wise Services, which  subcontracted with MOX Services, is an Ohio corporation with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. Under the MOX Contract, MOX Services agreed to design, build, operate (and ultimately decommission) the MFFF.
The MFFF is designed to transform weapons-grade plutonium into mixed oxide fuel rods that may be irradiated in commercial nuclear power plants.
In performing the MOX Contract, MOX Services entered into a series of subcontracts with Wise Services between 2008 and 2016. Each of these subcontracts provided for
Wise Services to supply labor, materials, equipment, and supervision for unplanned construction activities (e.g. general labor, plumbing, electrical, carpentry) deemed necessary to support MOX Services’ efforts at the MFFF.
The government’s complaint alleges that Wise Services falsely claimed reimbursement under its subcontracts with MOX Services for construction materials that did not exist, and that in turn MOX Services knowingly submitted $6.4 million in claims to NNSA for the fraudulent charges submitted by Wise Services. The complaint further alleges that Wise Services’ Senior Site Representative Phillip Thompson paid kickbacks to MOX Services officials with responsibility for the subcontracts to improperly obtain favorable treatment from MOX Services. On Feb. 27, 2017, Mr. Thompson entered a guilty plea on charges of conspiring to commit theft of government funds. 

February 18, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment