nuclear-news

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

The week in nuclear news – to 18 June

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Nations with nuclear reactors are slowly waking up to the fact that mounting nuclear waste is a global emergency.   At the G20 meeting in Japan,  Japan proposed setting up an international framework for cooperative research into how to dispose of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The first meeting on the framework is planned for October in France.

A bit of good news: First UK Supermarket Chain to Eliminate Plastic From Produce Will Save 1,300 Tons of Plastic From Landfill

Nuclear power is far from “emissions free”.

Escalating collapse of global insect populations.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Journalism on trial, Scahill, Hedges, Pilger and more: the charges, the defense, what you can do.

USA.

FRANCE. Electricite de France (EDF) has financial woes, hopes to save itself by switching from nuclear to renewables?

JAPAN. Japan’s restarted nuclear reactors could be forced to shut down for safety measures to be implemented.

NORTH KOREA. Living with a nuclear North Korea: how to move beyond the impasse.

RUSSIA. Investigative journalism. How Russia’s nuclear industry co-opted religion.

KAZAKHSTAN. HBO’s Chernobyl Stokes Anti-Nuclear Mood in Kazakhstan .

UK. UK Labour’s energy policy means that nuclear energy could be prioritised over renewables.  Climate change denier makes big donations to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

INDIA. VCK Chief Thol. Thirumavalavan opposes Nuclear fuel storage facility in Kudankulam plant.

UKRAINE. “Chernobyl” TV series – was drawn from the testimony of those who were there.  Chernobyl meltdown: the melted metal, with uranium and zirconium, formed radioactive lavaChernobyl ‘suicide divers‘ saved Europe from nuclear devastation.  Birth defects in the Chernobyl region.    “Chernobyl” TV series gets high rating, highly viewed in Russia and Ukraine. The clean-up of the Chernobyl nuclear wreck– the costs and international effort.  Holtec and Ukraine developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (dodgy underground devices)

IRAN. Iran to further scale back compliance with nuclear deal.  Japanese PM Shinzo Abe says Iran has ‘no intentions’ to make or use nuclear weapons.

LITHUANIA. Lithuanian Energy Institute scientists seriously working on nuclear decommissioning system.

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June 17, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

A Theater Play: “Forgetting the Future”

Bugs, Bots, and Ghosts
Non-human theatre both provokes and comforts in a post-Fukushima world.
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The cast of Shu Matsui’s 2013 play “Forgetting the Future.”
 
BY KYOKO IWAKI
June 12, 2019
Just as, for many Americans, it is difficultto reflect on 9/11 without mass disquietude, for many Japanese 3/11 is not merely another day.
At 2:46 p.m. on March11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami—better known today as the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster—rippled along the Northeastern coastline of the island country. This unprecedented triple attack included a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that moved Japan eight feet east, a 9.8-foot tsunami that killed over 15,000 people,and a Level-7 nuclear melt-through of three nuclear vessels.
 
This multivalent catastrophe, both natural and man-made, might be said to have created an almost complete tabula rasa. In addition to the earthquake and tsunamis,which disrupted tangible space, radiation extinguishes another intangible dimension:time. Considering that Plutonium 239 has a half-life (the period in which 50 percent of nuclides will have undergone nuclear decay) of 24,110 years, nuclear aftermaths indeed seem to defy a human conception of time.
 
Unfortunately humanity’s sense of emergency does not last for 20,000 years, for good reason: If we were to continue to dwell at length in the same level of hypertension, our nervous systems would soon collapse. That is why, in the current daily life of Japan, the repercussions of Fukushima seem invisible (unless you’re near the epicenter).
As early as September 2013, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo unabashedly declared, before the International Olympic Committee, that Fukushima is “under control,” an assurance that was probably crucial to Japan winning the 2020 Olympics. Ostensibly the country has regained its peace, yet one must never forget that this peace is only a palimpsest,resting upon a constant effort to silence anxieties.
 
If nuclear time defies human time, nuclear fallout deceives human perception. That’s why for some people in Japan (and the rest of the world), the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe was absent to begin with: out of sight, hence out of mind.
On the other hand, for others, it is omnipresent. Owing to this simultaneous absence and presence,many Japanese are impelled to broach uncharted domain—that is, they are compelled to seek a new language to aptly express their uncertainties, to rebuild collective values that could mend divided narratives, and to construct a new way of life that is not merely situated prior to but is always aligned with death. When it comes to trying new languages, values, and Lebenschauung (or views of life), theatre—with its physical presence, emotional eloquence, and fictional safeguards—naturally becomes a useful testbed.
 
Not that theatre has taken what may seem the most obvious reaction and approach: an ecocritical theatre demanding a full cessation of the 54 nuclear power plants in Japan,or a head-on political theatre rigidly questioning the legal liabilities of Tokyo ElectricPower Company. Instead a gradual yet sturdy “non-human” turn has been evident. For various reasons, theatre makers have become noticeably more attracted to cyborgs,animals, insects, and ghosts. In its most obvious renditions, human actors perform roles of anthropomorphized non-human beings. One could argue that this is just another form of the techno-animistic imagination prevalent in Japan since long before 3/11.But what must be noted here is that the rationales underpinning this turn toward the non-human have shifted in subtle yet interesting ways after Fukushima.
 
Japan is considered by many to be a trailblazer of industrial robots and futuristic imagination. From the mangas of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy (1952) and MitsutruYokoyama’s Ironman 28 (1956), ideal human-robot kinships have been dreamt of by boys, girls, and many still-adolescent adults. Before 3/11, most of these robots were designed to serve humans as part of a better society, not built to supersede or replace us. In this unthinkingly human-centric register, robots were acknowledged to be essentially inferior to humans; that’s why Atom, the humanoid nine-year-old in AstroBoy, always longed to be treated like a human child.
 
Since the Fukushima catastrophe, this human-robot hierarchy has been subtly inverted. Forced to realize how easily destructible their social bonds are and how
physically vulnerable their bodies could be, many Japanese theatre makers have created androids who “act” on stage as symbols of indestructible immortality—a thing humans have yearned for half-eternally.
 
Oriza Hirata—playwright, director, leader of Seinendan (Youth group) Theatre Company, and a usual suspect in Francophone theatre festivals—is generally considered the forerunner of Japanese robot theatre. Working with Hiroshi Ishiguro, aroboticist at Osaka University, Hirata has created eight robot theatre productions,including robotic versions of Kenji Miyazawa’s Night on the Galactic Railroad (2013),Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (2014), and the Hamburg State Opera’s Stilles Meer (Silent Sea, 2016) in which a robot (Robovie-R3 by Vstone) appears as a nuclear poweplant worker. Hirata even sometimes talks about a near future in which human actors could be completely replaced by androids, reasoning, “They could act in any language; travel cheaply; never get sick; and never complain.”
 
In his post-3/11 robot theatre productions, Hirata sheds light on the concepts of immortality and integrity. In his android version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (2012), for instance, the Fukazawa sisters live in a rural town with a formerly thriving robot industry. Their late father, a renowned robot scientist, created an android of his youngest daughter, Ikumi, before he died. (The real Ikumi seems also to have died,though we later learn that she is still alive but has become a hikikomori
—a social recluse.) While the older sisters visit their father’s grave to commemorate his death, android Ikumi refrains, because “death does not concern” her; mortality is a purely abstract concept in her mind. Meanwhile other family members seem agonized by the impending death of their community in the face of a declining birthrate, a labor shortage, and fading hope overall—an almost prophetic vision of a near-future Japan. And while they dodge the gloomy topic around the dinner table, the robot Ikumi, programmed to articulate unequivocally, can only reveal the awkward truth. Next to this logically impeccable and immortal robot, humans come to seem increasingly more fragile, flawed, and duplicitous.
 
This Three Sisters forces the post-Fukushima audience to question whether or not they,like the Fukazawa family, are hiding behind a veil of escapism; indeed they might even envy the fearless “human integrity” so well represented by the android. At the sametime, shrewd observers may begin to feel that accepting faults, fragilities, and failures might be the crux of humanity. Either way, Hirata’s Three Sisters demands that were consider what is putatively morally “human.”
 
From the outset of his career, director-playwright Shu Matsui has been questioningthe validity of several key concepts of Western humanism, including coherent logic,subjectivity, and individualism, which, in certain cases, seem to run against harmony-oriented Japanese norms. But it wasn’t until the 3/11 catastrophe that Matsui clearly imagined a non-human theatrical universe favoring collectivism over individualism,relativity over subjectivity, and affect over logic.
 
In Forgetting the Future (Mirai o wasureru, 2013), a character called Shimada Burio (the name is a spoof on the Japanese word for “embryo”) is presented as the world’s first cockroach-human hybrid. In addition to fluently speaking a human language, Burio can also talk through a Deleuzian language of “molecular vibration, chirring, buzzing,clicking, scratching, and scraping,” enabling him to go beyond the formal limits of communication that inevitably draw a boundary between the subject and the object, between me and you.
 
When facing vulnerable situations like the aftermath of 3/11, Matsui proposes that people must cease prioritizing cognitive functions, at least temporarily, to enjoy a non-linguistic and non-logical form of unity, which he calls “environmental symbiosis.” We must learn to herd with others like critters, in other words, to avoid untoward confrontations in an already calamitous situation. Indexes such as reason, subjectivity,and criticality must be reassessed, as they may be only onerous abstractions that needlessly complicate our already intractable lives.
 
Toshiki Okada, the writer-director with the theatre company called chelfitsch (a coinage meant to evoke a child attempting to say the English word “selfish”), is amongthe leading theatre artists in Japan. He initially received acclaim for voicing the uncertainties of the economically vulnerable Lost Generation in productions using“super-real” colloquial Japanese speech matched with ungainly yet eloquent body movements. In 2007 Okada ventured into the international theatre circuit when he was invited to the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels to present Five Days in March(Sangatsu no itsuka kan).
 
Since then, though, he has expanded his theatrical vision beyond the solipsistic aesthetics of super-real Japanese. Four months after 3/11, he relocated to Kumamoto,760 miles south of Tokyo, after living in the suburbs of the metropolis for 38 years. He felt that after the disaster he could no longer “identify” himself with Tokyo, even considering the capital city “something already over, or already lost—at least for me.”His world view thus changed, Okada could not help but change the “reality” in his stagecraft.
 
If, in the pre-Fukushima years, Okada was interested in writing about present reality,after the catastrophe he became increasingly interested in fiction—or, in his own words, “alternative realities.” He also looked back to a 600-year-old theatre tradition: In trying to give voice to someone (family, friends, or neighbors) or something (like Tokyo), he adopted the structure of the dream noh (mugen noh), in which the protagonists (shite) are most often resentful or regretful dead spirits. He’s written three plays responding to the Fukushima disaster: Time’s Journey Through a Room (Heyao nagareru jikan no tabi, 2016), Current Location ( Genaichi, 2012), and Ground and Floor ( Jimen to Yuka, 2013)—a three-hander in which the protagonist is the wife of a 30-something man who now fancies another woman. Until midway through the performance, the audience does not know that the protagonist is actually dead, as she is the one narrating the proceedings, describing the minutest details of everyday life, as if to never forget the life she had led. After providing her tranquil yet unyieldingly articulate monologue, she presses her husband as to whether he remembers the same details she does.
 
The production seems to find Okada divided between narratives of remembering and forgetting. We humans could not survive a single day if we remembered all the details of the past. But for the dead, the act of forgetting implies their complete disappearance. With the many lives lost in 3/11, theatre makers have begun to feel the obligation to reconsider not only the politics of humans but also those of the dead. Okada has said that “the ghost is a great invention of humans,” a way for us to give body to our imaginations and to our struggles with the past.
 
Whether looking to the future through androids and hybrid bugs, or veering toward the past through the visions of ghosts, Japanese theatre artists are imagining a time well beyond the lifespan of a single human being. The 3/11 catastrophe may not have changed Japanese society for the better, but it has surely stirred the imaginations of theatre directors and playwrights—and audiences. The non-human turn in post-Fukushima theatre is a clear embodiment of the ways Japanese artists feel responsible for giving voice, not only to those who survived but also to the dead and the unborn.
 
Kyoko Iwaki, a scholar of Japanese modern and contemporary theatre and performance, is a researcher at Waseda University

June 17, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Abe pushing idea that Fukushima nuclear disaster is ‘under control’

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspects the premises of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on April 14. Its No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, from left, are seen behind in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture.
June 11, 2019
Without special protection against radiation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood on elevated ground about 100 meters from the three melted-down reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“I was finally able to see the view just wearing a normal suit without having to wear protective clothing and a mask (for radiation),” he said on April 14 after hearing explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials. “The decommissioning work has been making progress in earnest.”
An act of bravado, perhaps. But it was more likely one of the ways Abe and his government want to show that the Fukushima disaster is, as he famously said, “under control.”
Progress has been made, albeit slowly, for the monumental task of decommissioning TEPCO’s crippled nuclear plant.
But radiation levels in certain areas of the plant are still lethal with extended exposure. The problem of storing water contaminated in the reactors continues.
And only recently was TEPCO able to make contact with melted nuclear fuel in the reactors through a robot. The means to extract the fuel has yet to be decided.
However, the government keeps touting progress in the reconstruction effort, using evacuee statistics, which critics say are misleading, to underscore its message.
Abe’s previous visit to the nuclear plant was in September 2013.
“When I conducted an inspection five years ago, I was completely covered in protective gear,” he said at a meeting with decommissioning workers in April. “This time I was able to inspect wearing a normal suit.”
Officials in Abe’s circle acknowledged that they wanted to “appeal the progress of reconstruction” by letting the media cover the prime minister’s “unprotected” visit to the site.
The inspection ground where Abe stood, 35 meters above sea level, and the insides of buses are the only places in the area where protective clothing and masks are not required.
His visit in a business suit was possible largely because the ground was covered in mortar and other materials that prevent the spread of radioactive substances, not because decommissioning work has lowered radiation levels as a whole.
The radiation level at the elevated inspection ground still exceeds 100 microsieverts per hour, making it dangerous for people who remain there for extended periods.
Abe’s inspection ended in six minutes.
The prime minister raised eyebrows, particularly in Fukushima Prefecture, in 2013 when he gave a speech to promote Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Concerning the Fukushima nuclear plant, he told International Olympic Committee members, “Let me assure you, the situation is under control.”
An hour before he inspected the plant in April, Abe attended the opening ceremony of the new government building of Okuma, one of the two towns that host the nuclear plant.
The ceremony followed the lifting of an evacuation order for part of the town on April 10.
“We were able to take a step forward in reconstruction,” Abe said.
The central government uses the number of evacuees to show the degree of progress in reconstruction work.
In April 2018, Abe said in the Diet that the lifting of evacuation orders has reduced the number of evacuees to one-third of the peak.
According to the Reconstruction Agency, the number of people who evacuated in and outside of Fukushima Prefecture, including those who were under no orders to leave, peaked at about 160,000. But the initial evacuation orders for 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture have been gradually lifted, and the agency now puts the total number at about 40,000.
About 71,000 people were officially registered as residents of areas that were ordered to evacuate. Now, only about 11,000 people live in those zones.
This means that about 60,000 people have not returned to the homes where they were living before the nuclear accident unfolded in March 2011.
The gap of 20,000 can be attributed to how the agency classifies or declassifies evacuees.
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NOT COUNTED AS EVACUEES
The Reconstruction Agency sent a notice in August 2014 to all prefectures that have counted the number of evacuees.
It defined “evacuees” as people who moved to different places because of the nuclear disaster and have the “will” to return to their original homes.
The notice also said that if it is difficult to perceive their “will,” they can be regarded as people who have ended their evacuation if they bought new homes or made arrangements for new accommodations.
Based on the notice, people in Fukushima Prefecture who have bought new homes during their evacuation or settled down in public restoration housing or disaster public housing are regarded as living “stable” lives and are not counted as evacuees.
“It is not a problem because we continue supporting them even if they are removed from the evacuee statistics,” a prefectural government official said.
An official of the Reconstruction Agency said, “The judgment is made by each prefecture, so we are not in a position to say much.”
However, the prefecture has not confirmed all evacuees’ will to return to their homes. In addition, those who are removed from the list of evacuees are not informed of their new status.
Many people bought homes in new locations during their prolonged evacuations although they still hope to return to their hometowns in the disaster area.
Yumiko Yamazaki, 52, has a house in Okuma in a “difficult-to-return” zone.
But because she moved to public restoration housing outside of the town, she is not considered an evacuee by the agency and the prefecture.
“I had to leave my town although I didn’t want to,” Yamazaki said. “It is so obvious that the government wants to make the surface appearance look good by reducing the number of evacuees.”
“I can’t allow them to try to pretend the evacuation never happened,” Yamazaki said.
Critics say the central government’s emphasis of positive aspects and the downplaying of inconvenient truths in the evacuee statistics have much in common with its response to the suspected nepotism scandals involving school operator Moritomo Gakuen and the Kake Educational Institution.
“This is an act to socially hide the real number of evacuees, which could lead to a cover-up of the seriousness of the incident,” said Akira Imai, chief researcher of the Japan Research Institute for Local Government who has conducted surveys among evacuees. “The evacuee number is an index that is used to consider measures to support evacuees. The current situation should be reflected properly in the numbers.”
But the central government continues to appeal “reconstruction” to the public.
On the night of May 10, Abe had dinner with all-male idol group Tokio at a pizza restaurant in Tokyo.
The four-member group has been promoting products from Fukushima Prefecture, which are still struggling to overcome public fears and false rumors about radiation.
Two days after the dinner, Abe posted a picture of him with Tokio on Twitter and commented, “They have been making efforts to reconstruct Fukushima Prefecture.”

June 17, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Fishermen Release Flatfish Fry

Flat fishes mostly feed at the bottom of the sea close the coast, where the highest radioactive pollution has accumulated…..
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June 10, 2019
Iwaki, Fukushima Pref., June 10 (Jiji Press)–Fishermen in Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan began releasing young flatfish into the sea from Hisanohama Port in the city on Monday.
The release came after a new prefecture-run facility for raising flatfish fry was completed in Soma, another city in Fukushima, in 2018. The previous such facility was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which also led to an unprecedented triple meltdown accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
About 100,000 juvenile flatfish, about 6 to 9 centimeters in length, were released into the Pacific Ocean amid rough weather on Monday.
A total of about one million young flatfish will be released from ports around the prefecture by the end of June, bringing the number of released flatfish up to the pre-disaster level for the first time in nine years.
Before the 2011 disaster, fishery products from Fukushima were prized for their taste and sold for hefty prices at places such as the now-defunct Tsukiji wholesale food market in Tokyo.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Comic tale of aging bar hostesses with social punch

I am surprised that this article was published on Yomiori Shimbun (Japan News), usually a pro-government media, with biased information.
This sentence must have escaped the censoring eyes of their editor.
I particularly like the: “Like Chihama, Arata comes from Fukushima Prefecture, where her parents’ home was destroyed in the Great East Japan Earthquake. Brazil in the past and contemporary Fukushima begin to look very similar, in the sense that “those affected are not told the truth.”
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June 10, 2019
This week’s manga Sono Onna Jilba (Jitterbug The Forties)
By Shinobu Arima (Shogakukan)
Arata Usui has a job dealing with customers in a major supermarket chain store when she is transferred to the stockroom, out of sight. This was inevitable, as she is already past 40 and no longer young. Still single, with no boyfriend and no savings, she lacks confidence. One day, Arata is surprised to see a help-wanted notice for bar hostesses in the entertainment quarter of town. The criteria: women 40 or older! Is this some kind of a mistake? Mustering her courage, she opens the door to the Bar Old Jack & Rose, a watering hole aimed at senior citizens in which the average age of the hostesses is 70. Mesmerized by a world completely different from her own, she begins a side job as a trainee hostess under the alias of Arara. She soon learns about the legend of Jilba, the founder and inaugural manager of the bar.
“Jitterbug The Forties” is a comedy with cheering messages for an aging society, played out by lively bar hostesses who seem almost supernatural. The story starts out in such an atmosphere, which in itself is entertaining enough. But readers are taken to a much deeper level. As the hostesses recount their pasts, an alternative postwar history emerges that we have never been told. This transforms it into a work that offers a completely different impression.
Jilba, born Chihama Hoshi, emigrated to Brazil from Fukushima Prefecture. One thing that I learned from this manga was that immediately after the end of World War II, Japanese immigrants in Brazil were divided into two groups regarding the outcome of the war. One group, the “kachi-gumi” (the victors), blindly believed the false information that Japan defeated the United States. This group far outnumbered the other group, the “make-gumi” (the defeated), which believed that Japan lost. Conflicts between the groups eventually led to terrorist attacks, and there were scams targeting immigrants hastily trying to return to “victorious” Japan. Chihama, who loses her husband and children amid the chaos, arrives alone in a Japan that is little but burned-out ruins. She gathers women in similar dire straits and opens the bar. This is the other story line told in “Jitterbug The Forties.”
Like Chihama, Arata comes from Fukushima Prefecture, where her parents’ home was destroyed in the Great East Japan Earthquake. Brazil in the past and contemporary Fukushima begin to look very similar, in the sense that “those affected are not told the truth.” Quite impressed, I realized just how much of a hard-hitting, socially aware work this actually is at its core.
Even so, “Jitterbug The Forties” never loses its balance as a comedy, impressively maintaining a cheerful disposition over five volumes right up to its conclusion. “Jilba” is Japanese-English, originating from the American social dance known as the Jitterbug. No matter how arduous your past was, sweep it away with song and dance. Regardless of your age, life is not to be thrown away. This is a masterpiece that resonates with a powerfully encouraging message to all generations.
Ishida is a Yomiuri Shimbun senior writer whose areas of expertise include manga and anime.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

“Chernobyl” TV series – was drawn from the testimony of those who were there

The Chernobyl miniseries is a compelling account of how the disaster unfolded, based largely on the testimony of those present, most of whom died soon afterwards. It rings true but only scratches the surface of another, more cruel reality– that, in their desperation to save face, the Soviets were willing to sacrifice any number of men, women and children.  

The truth about Chernobyl? I saw it with my own eyes.   Guardian, 16 June 19, Kim Willsher reported on the world’s worst nuclear disaster from the Soviet Union. HBO’s TV version only scratches the surface, she says.There is a line in the television series Chernobyl that comes as no surprise to those of us who reported on the 1986 nuclear disaster in what was the Soviet Union – but that still has the power to shock:

“The official position of the state is that global nuclear catastrophe is not possible in the Soviet Union.”

It was not possible, so in the days and months after the world’s worst such accident, on 26 April, the Kremlin kept up its pretence. It dissembled, deceived and lied. I began investigating Chernobyl in the late 1980s after Ukrainian friends insisted authorities in the USSR were covering up the extent of the human tragedy of those – many of them children – contaminated by radiation when the nuclear plant’s Reactor 4 exploded, blasting a cloud of poisonous fallout across the USSR and a large swathe of Europe.

When photographer John Downing and I first visited, the Soviet Union, then on its last political legs, was still in denial about what happened despite president Mikhail Gorbachev’s new era of glasnost. Continue reading

June 17, 2019 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Former US NRC Commissioner Merrifield Registered as Foreign Agent (FARA) for Saudi Nuclear — Mining Awareness +

According to the NRC: “Jeff Merrifield, Partner and Energy Section leader at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, is a former presidential appointee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who identifies strategic and legal solutions for major energy and environmental issues. Jeff utilizes the wide range of experience he has gained over the last 30 years, having worked […]

via Former US NRC Commissioner Merrifield Registered as Foreign Agent (FARA) for Saudi Nuclear — Mining Awareness +

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Journalism on trial, Scahill, Hedges, Pilger and more: the charges, the defense, what you can do — Rise Up Times

Several articles are posted here. Click on the each title or video to read/see the full article. +++ On Contact: Chris Hedges interviews Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks Assange charges and extradition: A political question and an attack on the foundation of democracy Chris Hedges discusses the US extradition request for Julian Assange with WikiLeaks […]

via Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Journalism on trial, Scahill, Hedges, Pilger and more: the charges, the defense, what you can do — Rise Up Times

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emissions omissions — Beyond Nuclear International

Nuclear isn’t carbon-free, no matter what EDF says

via Emissions omissions — Beyond Nuclear International

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sad to see U.S. progessive politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sucked in by the nuclear lobby?

Say It Ain’t So, #Ocasio! (#AOC)   https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/say-it-aint-so-ocasio-aoc?fbclid=IwAR1J2uPjFoiyDMFfHBT7Ucb6I-MmxZbu4rQ2VrYDzg5reSSvc3M6Yqb0Oc0.by Arnie Gundersen

Since early 2019 we’ve been hearing about the Green New Deal, a program that did not initially include nuclear power. Then suddenly, after an extensive lobbying effort by the atomic power industry, we heard: Ocasio-Cortez: Green New Deal ‘Leaves the Door Open’ on Nuclear.

How Green are the atomic power reactors proposed by the nuclear power industry?  Fairewinds has produced a two minute animation showing that carbon reduction via atomic power reactors is a nuclear industry marketing ploy.

Let’s look at the history of atomic power and the way governments and the atomic weapons and power industries have worked together to promote nuclear power. Nuclear physicists  discovered the nuclear chain reaction in 1938, and power has been produced using the atom since the 1940’s beginning with the Manhattan Project for the creation of the atomic bomb. Splitting the atom and creating nuclear weapons and power are old technologies that began more than 80 years ago! During that 80-year timespan, Americans and ratepayers in other capitalist countries were told  that using nuclear power as a source of electricity would be “too cheap to meter” if taxpayers would only subsidize more research.

Now we see impending financial collapse of almost all of the US nuclear power plants due to green energy! Solar, wind, wave, battery storage, and even newer technologies have proved that electricity can be created anywhere in the world in a manner that creates jobs, saves billions of dollars, and makes the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink much safer for all of us.

Instead of admitting nukes cannot compete with renewable energy, the atomic industrial complex is now proposing dozens of new designs that it claims on paper will compete in timeliness to successfully impact the growing climate crisis, including atomic reactors utilizing thorium and molten salt and new designs like Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), Micro-reactors, Traveling Wave, etc. Once again, the atomic power industry, which is the handmaiden to the nuclear weapons manufacturers, is sending lobbyists to convince your Congressional representatives that the atomic future will be different than the past. Lobbyists now claim that society will be so much better off when taxpayer funds bail out the aged, dangerous, and non-performing nukes and if the atomic power and weapons lobbies are given even more research subsidies.

Since the early 1960s there have been 250 applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its precursor the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to generate electricity for profit using atomic power reactors. None of these 250 proposed atomic reactors  have been built on time or within budget. You did not misread; truly, every single proposed nuke went millions and then billions of dollars over budget and have started generating electricity years later if at all.

If a baseball player was at bat 250 times and struck out 250 times, would he still be playing baseball? Yet, the atomic lobbyists marketing nuclear power want us to pay them for more chances to use our money and strike out one more time.

Renewables, storage and conservation already have a well-proven track-record of lower costs, more jobs, and environmental compatibility than any of these newly imagined nukes will ever have – I say newly imagined because I have spent my career life as a nuclear engineer. When I first began my career, I drank the Kool-Aid and believed that nuclear power reactors were the solution to the world’s energy shortages and that atomic power created from the same technology as the atomic bomb was as safe as the nuke power industry claimed. As the 5 commercial meltdowns during the last 40-years have proved, especially the 3 major meltdowns that included explosions at Fukushima, nuclear power is simply not a safe method of generating electricity. The impact of the devastation from three simultaneous meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi to the social culture, environmental legacy, personal health, and financial welfare of Japan in 2011 is not a legacy that should be passed onto future generations.

Why then is the US Congress, including AOC – one of the brightest members of this new Congress and the creator of the Green New Deal (#GND) – “leaving the door open” for the  same old atomic power marketing ploys? For more than 80-years, we have witnessed the economic failure, ratepayer bailouts, subsidized atomic meltdown insurance, and actual catastrophic meltdowns.

When will they ever learn?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | election USA 2020, politics | 1 Comment

Nuclear power is far from “emissions free”

Nuclear energy not emissions-free, too lethal https://www.toledoblade.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/2019/06/15/nuclear-energy-not-emissions-free-dangerous/stories/20   Nuclear power is not a panacea for climate change and doesn’t deserve bailouts like House Bill 6. It is a catastrophically dangerous, dirty, expensive, deteriorating technology that is not “clean”, “indispensable”, “carbon-free”, or “renewable.”

Gregory Jazcko, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman, warned, “I oversaw the U.S. nuclear power industry. Now I think it should be banned. The danger from climate change no longer outweighs the risks of nuclear accidents.”

Perry and Davis Besse cost a whopping $8.7 billion to build and billions more in maintenance, repairs, and subsidies. Grid operator PJM has determined that closing Perry and Davis-Besse would not destabilize the grid.

The nuclear power life cycle produces copious carbon and other greenhouse gases from uranium mining, milling, refining, conversion, and enrichment; fuel fabrication; transportation; reactor construction, maintenance, decommissioning; and radioactive waste management.

While nuclear generated electricity is low in carbon, it has never been zero emissions. Reactors emit methane, a greenhouse gas, and radioactive Carbon-14, with a 5,700-year half-life. The scientific and medical communities have determined that there is no safe dose of radiation exposure.

Ingested or inhaled radioactive strontium-90 and cesium-137 replace calcium and potassium respectively, irradiating bones and muscles for decades. Carcinogenic radioactive iodine-131 is absorbed by the thyroid which is why potassium iodide is provided to residents near reactors. Cobalt-60 is a liver, kidney, and bone carcinogen. Specks of inhaled plutonium-239, with a half-life of 24,000 years, can cause lung cancer. Miles of buried, inaccessible, deteriorating pipes have leaked tritium, which is radioactive hydrogen; no technology can remove it from contaminated water.

Over 32 years, disasters occurred at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. The U.S. has 23 Fukushima-type reactors at 16 sites. The NRC and other researchers postulate a 50 percent chance of another catastrophic accident in approximately the next 20 years.

To limit utility liability, Congress passed the 1957 Price Anderson Act which caps accident compensation at $12.6 billion; a 1982 NRC study calculated a severe accident could cause 50,000 fatalities and $314 billion in property damage which is $720 billion today.

A 1,000-megawatt reactor contains as much long-lived radiation as 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs from which humans and the environment must be protected forever, but the NRC admits that no engineered structure can last the time required to isolate these wastes and that leakage will occur.

Early warnings to resolve radioactive waste before licensing new reactors were ignored. There are 88,000 tons of irradiated fuel “temporarily” stored in problematic pools and casks at 75 environmentally unsuitable reactor sites in 33 states because no permanent repository exists.

In 2012, Ohio was 13th in the U.S. for wind capacity and investment; this virtually ceased due to a 2014 law which mandated the country’s most restrictive wind turbine setbacks and severely impeded Ohio’s 2008 renewable energy and efficiency standards. HB 6 will finish the job.

Even conservative voters prefer solar, wind, and efficiency and oppose fees to keep old nuclear plants operating. Conservative groups testified against HB 6, as corporate welfare and a glorified slush fund.

Ohio needs to strengthen renewable energy and efficiency standards, stop throwing good money after bad, close Perry and Davis Besse as scheduled, and retrain workers in renewable energy jobs.

The writer is past chairman, Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Committee, of Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Electricite de France (EDF) has financial woes, hopes to save itself by switching from nuclear to renewables?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, renewable | Leave a comment

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii wants the U.S, government to provide unclassified report on Runit nuclear waste dome

June 17, 2019 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

G20: Japan proposes framework for nuclear waste,

G20: Japan proposes framework for nuclear waste,   https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190616_14/   Japan has used the G20 meeting to propose setting up an international framework for cooperative research into how to dispose of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

The Group of 20 energy and environment ministers are in the town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, for the second and final day of their meeting.

Japan’s industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, chaired a session on energy in the morning. He brought up the idea of the international framework.

He said it is important to share experience and knowhow to accelerate efforts to solve a common issue for countries that use nuclear energy.

Many countries have found it difficult to draw up concrete plans for final waste disposal. Only Sweden and Finland have decided on disposal sites.

Many nations, including Japan, have not even begun studying potential sites.

The proposal calls for countries to share what they are doing regarding the selection of disposal sites and to promote cooperation and the exchange of human resources.

The first meeting on the framework is planned for October in France.

Ministers are expected to issue a joint statement on Sunday after the conclusion of the G20 meeting.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Chernobyl meltdown: the melted metal, with uranium and zirconium, formed radioactive lava.

How The Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Meltdown Formed World’s Most Dangerous Lava, Forbes, David Bressan   16 June 19    “………Even areas thousands of kilometers away from Chernobyl are still today contaminated with radioactive particles, transported by the wind in a gigantic plume over Europe.

As the cooling system of the reactor was shut down and the insertion of control rods into the reactor core failed, the nuclear fission went out of control, releasing enough heat to melt the fuel rods, cases, core containment vessel and anything else nearby, including the concrete floor of the reactor building. The fuel pellets inside the fuel rods are almost entirely made of uranium-oxide while the encasing in which the pellets are placed is made of zirconium alloys. Melting at over 1,200°C the uranium and zirconium, together with melted metal, formed radioactive lava burning through the steel hull of the reactor and concrete foundations at a speed of 30 cm (12″) per hour. Concrete doesn’t melt, but decomposes and becomes brittle at high temperatures. Part of the concrete was incorporated in the lava flow, explaining its high content of silicates, minerals composed mostly of silicon, aluminum and magnesium. Due to its chemical composition and high temperature, the lava-like material has a very low viscosity. When lava has low viscosity, it can flow very easily as demonstrated by stalactites hanging from valves and tubes in the destroyed reactor core.

Four hundred miners were brought to Chernobyl to dig a tunnel underneath. It was feared that the radioactive lava would burn through the containment structure and contaminate the groundwater. Only later it was discovered that the lava flow stopped after 3 meters (9 feet). Chemical reactions and evaporating water cooled the mixture below 1,100°C, below the decomposition temperature of the concrete.

About eight months after the incident and with the help of a remotely operated camera, the solidified lava was discovered in the ruins of the reactor building. Externally resembling tree bark and grey in color, the mass was nicknamed the Elephant’s Foot.

At the time of its discovery, radioactivity near the Elephant’s Foot was approximately 10,000 roentgens, a dose so high, only minutes of exposure would prove fatal. In 1996, radioactivity levels were low enough to visit the reactor’s basement and took some photographs. The photos are blurry due to radiation damage. The lava-like material resulting from a nuclear meltdown is also named corium, after the core of the reactor. An unknown uranium-zirconium-silicate found in the corium of Chernobyl was named later chernobylite. Chernobylite is highly radioactive due to its high uranium content and contamination by fission products. Corium will likely remain radioactive for the next decades to centuries.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2019/06/14/how-the-chernobyl-nuclear-plant-meltdown-formed-worlds-most-dangerous-lava-flow/#4d73b4f01691

June 17, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment