nuclear-news

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

Nearly 17 Tons of Radioactive Materials Detected in Japanese Food Imports

190830083949_36.jpg
August 30, 2019
Anchor: Amid a renewed radiation scare sparked by news Tokyo could be considering dumping radioactive water from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster into the Pacific Ocean, KBS has obtained a list of Japanese food imports from which radioactive materials were detected over the past five years. The list includes household food items like coffee and chocolate.
Choi You Sun reports.
 
Report: The office of South Korea’s minor opposition Bareunmirae Party Rep. Chang Jung-sook said nearly 17 tons of radioactive materials were detected in more than a dozen processed food categories imported from Japan between 2014 and June of this year.
 
Documents from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Thursday showed the 19 food categories include roasted coffee, tea, chocolate, fish jerky, peanuts, and processed fish products.
 
There were eleven cases of detection in 2014, six in both 2015 and 2016, four in 2017, six last year and two this year through June.
 
KBS has learned popular Japanese chocolate, candy and drip coffee brands were on the list; the drip coffee is currently being sold at Japanese food supply stores in South Korea.
 
Some of the products, such as talcum powder used to make chewing gum and bilberry extract in dietary supplements, were found to have been manufactured in the nuclear-hit Fukushima and seven other prefectures subject to Seoul’s ban on fish product imports.
 
While the Food Ministry assured all the imports with radiation detection were returned to Japan and were not distributed or sold in the country, experts say the ministry’s current 30-minute-long tests should be extended to three hours to detect smaller levels of radiation.
 
Amid mounting concerns over the safety of Japanese food products, Rep. Chang urged the ministry to seek ways to calm public anxieties over food safety and to disclose information about imports from Fukushima as it had previously announced.
 
The Seoul city government, meanwhile, plans to inspect 160 items ranging from Japanese fishery products to confection made from Japanese food ingredients over the next month and post the outcome on its official website.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Catholic peace activists to face trial on 21 October

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima tragedy: The day of black snow

111.jpg
Aerial view of nuclear waste storage area in the mountainous forests of Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan.
August 30, 2019
Toru Anzai is a former resident of Iitate, a small village in Fukushima, Japan, and dearly missed the bamboo shoots that grew in his hometown. During autumn, the bamboo shoots would blanket the mountains that overlooked the residents’ homes in the village. The residents would climb the mountains, gather the plants, and prepare them for dinner. But ever since that tragic day, no one climbed the mountains, and the wild plants vanished from their dinner tables. For Anzai, the bamboo shoots became sad reminders of what used to be.
 
Anzai remembers the day as the “black snow” day. He heard the explosions on 12 March, 2011. Black smoke rose from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and the smell of burning iron pervaded the village. It started to rain. The rain turned into snow. The snow was black.
The black snow filled Anzai with an ominous dread, and soon, his fears became reality.
After the black snow shrouded the village, Anzai described in an interview how he started to feel throbbing pain on his skin. It was almost like being sunburned after sunbathing for too long. Both of his legs darkened then peeled in white patches. The only remedy to the peeling was applying medicinal ointment. 
Soon after, his entire body began to suffer. The headaches came, followed by shoulder pains. Then the hair loss occurred. Three months after the disaster, he left behind his home and evacuated to survive. Unfortunately, the tragedy did not end there.
Three years later, Anzai started having strokes and heart attacks. A stent was placed in his blood vessel; the tube held open his narrowed blood vessel and kept the blood flowing to his heart. With treatment, his pain somewhat subsided, but whenever Anzai visited Iitate, the pain throughout his entire body relapsed. While these symptoms have not been conclusively connected to the radiation exposure, Anzai believed that they were the realities of the black snow day. 
222.jpg
Toru Anzai visting his house in Iitate, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.
 
Anzai’s temporary housing was very narrow and consisted of a living room and a bedroom. He had moved into this subsidised housing complex eight years ago. He was one of the first of the 126 families. Often, evacuees gathered around the common area and shared fond memories of their hometowns with each other. Whatever solace could be found, the evacuees found it in each other. 
Since allegedly completing the decontamination operation in Iitate, the Japanese government have been urging people to return to their village. In fact, Fukushima prefectural government had ended housing subsidies this past March, and by the end of the month, most people had left the complex. Only around ten families were still looking for a new place to live. 
Absently gazing into the dark, clouded sky, Anzai spoke bitterly. “I was kicked out of my hometown for doing nothing wrong. It was heartbreaking. Now, Iitate is polluted, and some of my neighbours have died. When the government asked me to evacuate last minute, I left. Now, they want me to go back. Back to all of the radioactive contamination. I’m so angry, but I don’t know what to do. We have repeatedly petitioned the government, but they’re not willing to listen. Our government has abandoned us.”
333.jpg
Nuclear waste storage area in Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan. Adopting a return to normal policy, the Japanese government undertook an unprecedented decontamination program for areas of Fukushima contaminated by the triple reactor meltdown in March 2011
 
Prior to the nuclear incident, there were about 6,300 residents in Iitate. Eight years later, only a little over 300 evacuees have returned at the government’s persistent urging. Most of the returning residents were elderly, aged 60 or older. Even counting the non-natives who had recently relocated to the village, the total figure hovered around only 900 residents. 
Iitate’s old and new residents are exposed to radioactive substances on a daily basis. The Japanese government claimed to have completed the decontamination work, but a full decontamination is impossible due to the village’s terrain. More than 70% of Iitate is forest, and unlike in the farmlands, the removal of contaminants that have fallen among the mountainous forest is nearly impossible. 
444.jpg
Greenpeace nuclear expert Heinz Smital (Germany) and Florian Kasser (Switzerland) talk with Toru Anzai.
 
Each year, Greenpeace Germany conducts extensive research on Fukushima villages including Iitate. The findings confirm that the radiation exposure in these villages exceeds the established international safety standards. Anzai believes that the Japanese government is behind the forced homecoming of the Iitate residents. 
“The government hopes to publicise good news: the nuclear accident has been dealt with, and the residents have returned home. People who had no choice but to leave are now being pressured to return and put their lives on the line,” lamented Anzai.
555.jpg
The destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, nearly 8 years after the accident.
 
The Japanese government hopes to release more than one million tonnes of highly radioactive water into the Fukushima coast. If the contaminated water becomes flushed into the ocean, the contamination will only add to the harm already inflicted by the Fukushima accident. Furthermore, the ocean currents will shift the radioactive materials through the surrounding waters including the Pacific Ocean. 
The industrial pollution and toxins have already caused much distress to our oceans. Discharging the Fukushima’s radioactive water will only worsen the situation, and we cannot, and should never, let this happen. 
Sean Lee is the communication lead of Greenpeace Korea. 

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan utilities, Toshiba, Hitachi eye nuclear business alliance

hhjkl.jpg
This file photo taken in November 2018 shows preparation under way for dismantling an exhaust pipe used by the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors
August 29, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Two Japanese utilities and Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday they have agreed to discuss potential collaboration in the nuclear business, as the industry faces a difficult environment following the Fukushima accident.
Amid lingering safety fears over nuclear plants, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima complex, Chubu Electric Power Co. and the two major nuclear reactor builders said they consider jointly developing human resources, technologies and supply chains.
Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, stricter safety requirements have been implemented and only nine reactors at five complexes in Japan have restarted operations. At the time of the disaster, Japan had 54 nuclear reactors for commercial use.
The four companies said the envisaged partnership is aimed at effectively operating and developing nuclear technologies, and that they plan to promote cooperation especially in the boiling water reactor business.
However, demand for nuclear energy in Japan is unlikely to recover to the pre-Fukushima disaster level.
Facing huge compensation payments and other costs stemming from the Fukushima disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Company is eager to resume operating two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture but has found difficulty in obtaining necessary approval from host municipalities.
Chubu Electric is also struggling with rising costs to maintain the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, which remains offline.
Hit by ballooning costs, Hitachi has suspended a 3 trillion yen ($28 billion) nuclear plant project in Britain, while Toshiba decided in 2017 to exit the nuclear business outside Japan after incurring huge losses in the United States.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Spanish group gives summer holidays to kids from Chernobyl’s polluted region

Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Meet the NGO giving children a summer from the still present pollution,   Euro News 1 Sept 19, TV hit series Chernobyl may have revived interest in the 1986 nuclear disaster, but for one Spanish NGO, it’s never gone away.

Vallès Obert has helped organise summer holidays in Spain for around 2,000 children from the Chernobyl region since 1995.

It does this by finding families willing to host them.

The time away from the area helps their bodies recover from exposure to the toxic radioactive materials still present in the atmosphere around the diaster site…….

There are many people who have health problems”, explains Natasha, 14, who was born two decades after the incident.

She is being hosted by a family in La Roca del Vallès, near Barcelona, but will soon return to her hometown, Stanyshivka, about 60km from Chernobyl.

“After radiation, some people born cannot speak,” she told Euronews…….

Vallès Obert estimates two months a year outside the polluted environment helps their defences regenerate significantly.

Manuel, president of the association, explains that “there is an age range between 40 and 50 years old in which cancer problems begin to appear: larynx or stomach cancer, leukaemia… everything related to cancer”…….. https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/31/chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-meet-the-ngo-giving-children-a-summer-from-the-still-present-po

September 1, 2019 Posted by | children, Religion and ethics, Spain, Ukraine | Leave a comment

‘Japan must be prudent in Fukushima radioactive water issue’

‘Japan must be prudent in Fukushima water issue’
optimize.jpg
Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Yasumasa Nagamine is being summoned with a somber look at the South Korean foreign ministry headquarters in Seoul, Wednesday. Seoul’s First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young called the Japanese diplomat in on Wednesday when Tokyo’s decision to remove South Korea from its whitelist of countries receiving trade benefits took legal effect.
August 29, 2019
South Korea has urged Japan to remain transparent in its handling of 1.15 million tons of water that was contaminated after the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.
 
“Japan explained that no specific conclusions over how to handle the water have been made as of now,” the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement. “The Japanese government also stressed that it is dealing with the issue in a responsible manner on a scientific basis.”
 
Previously, the ministry sent a diplomatic letter to its Japanese counterpart, asking Tokyo to share details over how it will dispose of the contaminated water, as its possible release into the neighboring ocean could end up polluting the East Sea.
 
Environmental groups, NGOs and activists such as Greenpeace have been warning about the possibility of serious danger posed by any discharge of the Fukushima water ― believed to be contaminated with tritium ― into the Pacific Ocean, underscoring the effect it could have on South Korea.
 
Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, South Korea has been raising its concerns about radiation at major Olympic venues near the Fukushima nuclear plant and the risk that its athletes may consume contaminated food products.
 
The Fukushima issue was a part of South Korea’s fresh encounter with Japan after Seoul scrapped a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact. Political experts say South Korea “knows a key tender spot” by taking the Fukushima issue ― Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was hoping to use the Games as a sign of recovery and hope after the Fukushima disaster.
 
Meanwhile, Seoul also has stepped up criticism of Tokyo for “seeking to deny its brutal wartime history” amid their intensifying political feud.
 
“We have a sense of doubt over whether Japan is facing up to the gloomy history which caused severe pain to people from a number of Asian countries, including Korea,” the ministry said in a separate statement.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan says no specific decision yet on disposal of Fukushima radioactive water

safe_image.php.jpg
South Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Aug 27, 2019
Japan notified South Korea on Tuesday that it has not made any specific decision yet on how to dispose of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, Seoul officials said.
 
Tomofumi Nishinaga, an economic minister from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, delivered a diplomatic note in response to South Korea’s request last Monday to clarify its disposal plans and verify speculation that it could discharge the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, they said.
 
“The Japanese side explained that at this point in time, there is not any specific conclusion on how to dispose of the contaminated water, while stressing that it is taking steps based on scientific grounds with (a sense of) responsibility,” Seoul’s foreign ministry said in a press release.
 
Japan plans to hold a briefing for foreign diplomats based in Japan regarding its handling of the radioactive water on Sept. 4, the ministry added, citing the diplomatic note.
 
Seoul reiterated that the contaminated water issue should be handled in a way that does not affect the health of the citizens of both countries and the marine environment in the vicinity of the nuclear plant.
 
It also renewed calls for Japan to continue to provide “transparent and concrete” explanations on how it deals with the water.
 
Japan is reportedly exploring various options to dispose of the water contaminated due to the 2011 meltdown, including evaporating it and putting it deep underground. But discharging the treated water into the Pacific Ocean is seen as the cheapest and quickest disposal method.
 
Environmental groups and activists, such as Greenpeace, have opposed the discharge of the water containing radioactive tritium.
 
In a January report, Greenpeace said that a Japanese government task force proposed the discharge plan and ignored alternative options that would avoid further contamination of the ocean.(Yonhap)

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Expert on birds warns of environmental catastrophe if UK’s planned Sizewell nuclear station goes ahead

Daily Mail 1st Sept 2019 , BBC Birdwatch presenter Chris Packham warns of environmental ‘catastrophe’
if plans for new nuclear power station on wetland nature reserve go ahead.
Chris Packham and campaigners warn against nuclear plant on nature reserve.
French energy firm EDF wants to build Sizewell C with two more giant
reactors. The firm last year axed plan to build a jetty to bring in
materials for site by sea. It is a wetland nature reserve of such beauty
and importance that it became home to the BBC’s popular Springwatch
series for three years.
But campaigners fear that Minsmere, a 2,500-acre
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds site on the Suffolk coast, faces
catastrophe under plans put forward by French energy firm EDF to build a
new nuclear power station. The site, which attracts numerous species of
rare birds including marsh harriers, lies close to an existing nuclear
power station, Sizewell B – but EDF now wants to build Sizewell C, which
comprises two more giant reactors.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7415401/Chris-Packham-warns-environmental-catastrophe-nuclear-power-station-plan-nature-reserve.html

September 1, 2019 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

TEPCO’s new tactics: to restart so as to close….

TEPCO offers to close reactors after restarting Niigata plant
(f_gçà.jpg
The No. 1 to No. 4 reactors of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant stand in the foreground, while the No. 5 to No. 7 reactors can be seen in the background
 
August 26, 2019
KASHIWAZAKI, Niigata Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. indicated it would decommission idle reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant here, but that move may not be enough to win local consent to restart other reactors at the site.
TEPCO officials, including President Tomoaki Kobayakawa, met with Kashiwazaki Mayor Masahiro Sakurai on Aug. 26 and passed on their plans to decommission one or more reactors within five years after operations are resumed at the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors.
TEPCO has long planned to restart those two reactors at the seven-reactor plant. As a condition for his consent to the restarts, Sakurai in June 2017 insisted that TEPCO compile a plan regarding the decommissioning of the other five reactors.
Hearing of TEPCO’s latest plan, Sakurai said the proposal was likely the maximum that could be expected of the utility.
“But I cannot hand out a passing grade based on today’s answer alone,” the mayor said.
He said he would ask TEPCO to respond to additional requests related to a resumption of operations, such as how measures to enhance safety at the plant would affect the local economy.
TEPCO had insisted that resuming operations at the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors after both passed stricter safety regulations would provide a major pillar for rebuilding its corporate finances.
Sakurai had asked for a decommissioning plan because he felt the need to reduce the risks to his city from the high concentration of nuclear reactors and to develop a decommissioning sector among businesses in Kashiwazaki.
However, TEPCO has other hurdles to clear before it can resume operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
The Niigata prefectural government has been conducting its own evaluation of the 2011 triple meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It remains to be seen if Niigata Governor Hideyo Hanazumi will give his consent to resumption of operations.
The seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are all boiling-water types similar to those at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The No. 1 to No. 5 reactors at the plant in Niigata Prefecture can each generate 1.1 gigawatts, while the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors can each produce 1.356 gigawatts.
The oldest No. 1 reactor began operations in 1985, meaning it is fast approaching the 40-year limit for its operating life that is in place, in principle, for nuclear reactors.
The No. 2 to No. 4 reactors have remained offline since the 2007 Niigata Chuetsu-oki Earthquake.
All reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant have been offline since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 
TEPCO may consider scrapping 1 or more reactors in Kashiwazaki
August 26, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Monday it may consider decommissioning one or more reactors at its nuclear power plant in Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture within five years after reactivating two idled reactors at the same plant.
TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa mentioned for the first time the possibility of decommissioning some or all of the Nos. 1 to 5 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, located northwest of Tokyo, as the host city’s Mayor Masahiro Sakurai has made it a condition for approving the restarts of its Nos. 6 and 7 reactors.
During a meeting with Sakurai, Kobayakawa noted the necessity of maintaining Nos. 1 to 5 reactors for now but said the company will consider decommissioning one or more of them once it deems it can secure enough power from non-fossil sources with limited greenhouse gas emissions.
ç_uguiià.jpg
(Sakurai, left, and Kobayakawa, 3rd from right)
 
“TEPCO has given me the maximum reply it could think of now,” said Sakurai, suggesting his satisfaction with the response despite TEPCO not specifying how many reactors it might decommission or giving a firm pledge to do so.
In June 2017, Sakurai said he would demand the utility submit a plan for scrapping reactors within two years and asked for specifics, including how many and which reactors will be decommissioned and by when, saying a plan without such details “cannot be called a plan.”
Hit by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011 and massive compensation payments for those affected by it, TEPCO has been seeking to restart the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors and had also hoped to keep the Nos. 1 to 5 reactors for rebuilding its business. All seven reactors are currently offline.
But Sakurai called for scrapping some of them on worries that all seven reactors are located in one area and that an accident in one could easily spread to the others.
The Nos. 6 and 7 reactors won approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority needed for the restart in December 2017, and TEPCO has carried out construction work for enhancing their safety. But it has yet to gain local consent for their restart.
The utility initially sought to reply to Sakurai in July but the plan was put on hold after the utility angered the mayor by misinforming his city of an abnormality at the plant in a major earthquake that hit Niigata Prefecture on June 18.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The danger of sourcing food and material from the Fukushima region

Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit
156672528312_20190826.PNG
 A storage tank for contaminated water near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
August 25, 2019
International concerns are growing over the Japanese government’s plans to provide meals from the Fukushima area to squads participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The starting point for the Olympic torch relay, and even the baseball stadium, were placed near the site of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to be following the model of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where Japan’s rise from the ashes of the atomic bombs was underscored by having a young man born the day of the Hiroshima bombing act serve as the relay’s last runner. Here we can see the Shinzo Abe administration’s fixation on staging a strained Olympic reenactment of the stirring Hiroshima comeback – only this time from Fukushima.
But in terms of radiation damages, there is a world of difference between Hiroshima and Fukushima. Beyond the initial mass casualties and the aftereffects suffered by the survivors, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima resulted in little additional radiation exposure. Nuclear technology being as crude as it was back then, only around one kilogram of the Hiroshima bomb’s 64kg of highly enriched uranium actually underwent any reaction, resulting in a relatively small generation of nuclear fission material.
Whereas ground-based nuclear testing results in large quantities of radioactive fallout through combining with surface-level soil, the Hiroshima bomb exploded at an altitude of 580m, and the superheated nuclear fission material rose up toward the stratosphere to spread out around the planet, so that the amount of fallout over Japan was minimal.
Even there, most of the nuclides had a short half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the total atoms in radioactive material to decay); manganese-56, which has a half-life of three hours, was the main cause of the additional radiation damages, which were concentrated during the day or so just after the bomb was dropped. The experience of Nagasaki was similar. As a result, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were able to fully resume as functioning cities by the mid-1950s without additional decontamination efforts.
156672528328_20190826.JPG
Piles of plastic bags containing contaminated soil and other waste, a common site in the Fukushima region
 
Fukushima’s radiation increases over time
The Fukushima disaster did not result in mass casualties, but the damages from radiation have only increased over time. The nuclear power plants experiencing core meltdowns had the equivalent of around 12 tons of highly enriched uranium in nuclear fuel – roughly 12,000 times more than the amount of uranium that underwent nuclear fission in the Hiroshima bomb. At one point, the Japanese government announced that Fukushima released 168 times more cesium than the Hiroshima bomb. But even that was merely a difference in emissions; there’s an immeasurable difference between the amount of fallout from Hiroshima, which was left over from a total spread out over the planet at a high altitude, and the amount from Fukushima, which was emitted at ground level.
Hiroshima also experienced little to no exposure to cesium-137 and strontium-90 – nuclides with half-lives of around 30 years that will continue to afflict Japan for decades to come. Due to accessibility issues, most of the forests that make up around 70% of Fukushima’s area have been left unaddressed. According to Japanese scholars, around 430 square kilometers of forest was contaminated with high concentrations of cesium-137. The danger of this forest cesium is that it will be carried toward residential or farm land by wind and rain, or that contaminated flora and fauna will be used in processing and distribution. Indeed, cedar wood from Fukushima remains in distribution in the region, and was even shipped off recently to serve as construction material for the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, the incidence of thyroid cancer in children – a rare condition – has risen all the way from one to two cases before the incident to 217 in its wake. Yet the Abe administration has only impeded a study by physicians, using various government-controlled Fukushima-related investigation committees as vehicles for sophistry and controlling media reporting on the issue.
156672528337_20190826
Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea
 
Abe administration hoping to cut costs in nuclear waste disposal
The economic consequences have been astronomical as well. From an expert group’s analysis, the Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that the 14 million tons of radioactive waste from collecting Fukushima’s cesium-contaminated soil would result in a financial burden of 20 trillion yen (US$187.98 billion) based on the acceptance costs at the Rokkasho-mura radioactive waste disposal center. Contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant – which already amounts to 1.2 million tons and is expected to increase to 2 million – was predicted to cost fully 51 trillion yen (US$479.35 billion) in tritium and strontium removal costs alone. Factor in the 10 trillion yen (around US$94 billion) in resident compensation, and the amount is close to the Japanese government’s total annual budget. Hoping to cut costs, the Abe administration announced plans to reuse soil waste in civil engineering, while the contaminated water is expected to be dumped into the Pacific after the formalities of a discussion. But few if any Japanese news outlets have been doing any investigative reporting on the issue.
When Abe declared the situation “under control” during the Olympic bidding campaign in 2013, this truthfully amounted to a gag order on the press and civil society. Having the world’s sole experience of filing and winning a World Trade Organization (WTO) case on Fukushima seafood, South Korea may be in the best position to alert the world to the issue of radioactivity and the Tokyo Olympics. I look forward to seeing efforts from the administration.
By Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s President Rouhani talks with Emmanuel Macron, warning on reducing nuclear commitments

Rouhani Warns Macron Iran Will Take Next Nuclear Step  September 01, 2019  Radio Farda   

September 1, 2019 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

New tactics from TEPCO to get Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP reopening approval

Japan’s Tepco weighs retiring some reactors at massive plant
Dismantling one or more units geared to easing local opposition to resuming operations
https _s3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com_psh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4_images_2_2_6_7_22267622-1-eng-GB_nukes
When fully operational, Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility is the largest nuclear power plant in the world.
August 24, 2019
TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings is considering decommissioning one or more of the seven reactors at a key nuclear power plant in northern Japan, Nikkei has learned, as it attempts to ease community pushback against restarting it.
Tepco will not aim to reactivate all of the No. 1 through No. 5 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture — meltdown-hit Fukushima Prefecture’s western neighbor. It will instead pick at least one of them to dismantle after restarting the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors, as approved by the central government. Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa is expected to convey that intent to Masahiro Sakurai, mayor of the city of Kashiwazaki, in meetings on Monday.
The plant — the world’s largest when fully operational — is undergoing separate checks led by the prefectural government, leaving the time frame for a restart unclear.
The utility hopes that offering a plan for decommissioning down the road, as Sakurai has demanded, will help win over locals for its efforts to restart the two greenlit reactors, an important step in improving its financial health.
Tepco decided in late July to retire all its remaining reactors in Fukushima Prefecture on top of the ongoing decommissioning of disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi, the site of the 2011 meltdown resulting from a massive earthquake and tsunami. Coming on the heels of July’s move, the utility judged that issues of manpower and finance would preclude immediately moving to dismantle parts of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.
In June 2017, Sakurai asked that Tepco present a plan for dismantling at least one of reactors No. 1 through No. 5 within two years as a condition for restarting No. 6 and No. 7. Tepco has missed that deadline. Restarting the two reactors, which passed central-government safety inspections in December 2017, would likely create an easier environment for tackling the problem.
Tepco aims to shoulder the costs of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi and paying out compensation. An outflow of customers on its capital-area home turf has left it in worsening financial straits. It hopes for relief from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, where each reactor it restarts is expected to provide a roughly 100 billion yen ($939 million) shot in the arm per year.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

The rocketing costs of Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR) hastened the demise of the Astrid fast nuclear reactor project

Jim Green  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia     The World Nuclear Association noted in June 2019 that the development of a commercial fast reactor is no longer a high priority in France.
Indeed the Astrid project ‒ a planned demonstration fast reactor ‒ is in the process of being indefinitely postponed or abandoned altogether, Le Monde reported in August 2019: pre-project design studies will be completed then shelved; the 25-person unit coordinating the project has been disbanded; the project might be pursued in the second half of the 21st century according to CEA (while a CEA inside source told Le Monde that the project is “mort” (dead); Astrid has been removed from budget allocations; and the project lacks support from energy utility EDF.
One of the reasons the Astrid project has been cancelled (or deferred to the second half of the century) is belt-tightening in the wake of another failing project: the 100 MW Jules Horowitz materials testing reactor (JHR). The cost of JHR has increased from €500 million to €2.5 billion and will increase further before completion. Completion of JHR will be at least eight years behind schedule if the current completion date of 2022 is met (the planned five-year construction schedule has been pushed out to 13 years).

September 1, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Fukushima radioactive water is not just tainted water!!!

TEPCO should be open in dealing with storage of tainted water
hkllmmm.jpg
A large number of storage tanks on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant hold water processed to remove most radioactive substances.
 
August 23, 2019
An industry ministry subcommittee has started debating a new proposal for the long-term storage of radiation-contaminated water being generated by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, takes a dim view of this approach. But the expert panel of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry should assess the advantages and disadvantages of storing contaminated water in tanks for decades.
The No. 1 to No. 3 reactors at the plant are still generating 150 tons of polluted water per day as these reactors are being flooded to cool melted nuclear fuel and underground water keeps pouring in.
Even after being treated with a filtering system, the polluted water still contains tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, and has to be stored in on-site tanks.
For three years, the panel has been discussing five potential ways of dealing with the problem, including diluting the water to safe levels and releasing it into the ocean, or vaporizing the waste water and releasing the gas into the atmosphere.
Since water containing tritium from nuclear plants in Japan is released into the sea according to the legal safety standards, the dilute-and-release method has been the favorite option among the experts.
But local fishermen are vehemently opposed to this idea. At public hearings on the issue held last summer in Fukushima and Tokyo, many participants voiced their opposition to this approach.
In response to a growing chorus of calls for considering long-term storage, the ministry has decided to task the panel with considering the idea.
Long-term storage would allow for waiting for radiation levels to decline naturally over time without causing any harmful effect on the local fishing industry. But this method would also pose tough challenges, such as securing land to place storage tanks, ensuring safety for many decades and preventing any disruption in the work to decommission the reactors.
The experts need to carefully assess the costs and risks involved in the long-term storage of radioactive water.
In a troubling move, the electric utility, known as TEPCO, warned at a recent subcommittee meeting that storage tanks holding processed water on the grounds of the plant will become completely full by the summer of 2022.
The warning about the increasing difficulty of securing additional land to place tanks seems to be aimed at putting pressure on the central government to decide quickly on how to tackle the problem.
The ministry panel, however, should not feel pressed for time in carrying out its job. It should rather spend enough time and exercise sufficient caution as it determines whether there is really no additional space for keeping tanks.
Disclosure of relevant information by TEPCO is vital for the panel’s mission.
The company’s stance toward disclosure has been far from exemplary.
At the subcommittee meeting, the utility did not offer sufficient graphics or data to support its claim that there will be no more tanks to store contaminated water by the summer of 2022.
Some experts even suspect that the company deliberately held back such information.
Last year, TEPCO was roundly criticized for failing to make active efforts to make it known to the public that higher-than-standard levels of radioactive materials other than tritium had been detected in treated water.
The company’s attitude inevitably raises doubt whether it has done serious soul-searching over its poor disclosure performance.
TEPCO has a duty to disclose all relevant information including inconvenient facts and engage in sincere dialogue with the local communities over this issue.
No progress toward a decision on how to deal with the contaminated water is possible without the support and understanding of the local communities.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive sushi: Japan-South Korea spat extends to Olympic cuisine

gjhkjlkm.jpg
A Tokyo Electric Power official wears radioactive protective gear at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2014.
August 23, 2019
TOKYO —  The specter of radioactive sushi on menus at the Tokyo Olympics is a new front in an increasingly vindictive spat between South Korea and Japan, two U.S. allies that can’t seem to get along.
With tensions between the neighbors the highest in decades, South Korea’s delegation to Japan’s 2020 Games raised concerns this week about radiation at Olympic venues near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and the risk that athletes might consume contaminated food.
The protest formed part of a three-pronged attack that suggested South Korea is using the tsunami-induced 2011 nuclear meltdown as another stick with which to poke Japan. The two sides’ dispute over trade and compensation for wartime forced labor escalated Thursday when Seoul scrapped a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact.
On Monday, South Korea said it summoned a Japanese diplomat to express concerns about the possibility that treated radioactive groundwater stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant might someday be released into the ocean — although Japan says the meeting came at its request. A day later, South Korea’s Olympics delegation raised worries about radiation at an international meeting with Tokyo Games organizers, while on Wednesday, Seoul’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would double the radiation testing of some Japanese food imports because of contamination fears. 
The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee has operated separate cafeterias for its athletes at past Olympics and is considering expanding that operation in Japan due to concerns about food safety, spokeswoman Lee Mi-jin said. 
In doing so, Seoul has struck at what it knows is a tender spot. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set great personal store in a successful Olympics and wants to use the Games as a symbol of hope and recovery after the Fukushima disaster.
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be held in Fukushima, the prefecture’s capital city. The Olympic torch relay will start from there, too.
 
Japan’s government says the fears are groundless, with Foreign Minister Taro Kono saying he had “thoroughly explained” the safety of Japanese foods based on scientific evidence when he met his counterparts from South Korea and China on Wednesday.
Radiation levels in Fukushima city are comparable with safe readings in Hong Kong and Seoul, while Tokyo’s readings are even lower, in line with Paris and London, government data shows. Food from the region is tested intensively for safety.
MUJEEOWFKEI6TNPEKSVFNVNXZY.jpg
Seafood sits in buckets for radiation testing at a lab attached to a fish market in Iwaki, Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, in January.
 
The radiation cloud generated by explosions at the Fukushima reactors spread over thousands of square miles of northern Japan, causing 165,000 people to flee their homes. But officials have been engaged in a massive cleanup since, removing or treating swaths of topsoil to remove radioactive cesium and prevent it from entering vegetation.
Tokyo has stringent limits on the amount of cesium allowed in food, setting a maximum of just one-twelfth the levels permitted in the United States or the European Union. Agriculture and fish testing centers in Fukushima prefecture have analyzed hundreds of thousands of food samples from the danger zone, as well as samples of every ocean catch.
With the exception of a handful of samples of wild mushrooms and freshwater fish, and one skate caught in the ocean in January, none of the samples has exceeded radiation limits in the past three years, officials say. 
Although exports of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products from Fukushima have recovered beyond pre-disaster levels, at least 24 countries and territories ban some produce from Fukushima, while Taiwan, South Korea and China maintain a total ban on food from the prefecture.
In April, South Korea won the bulk of an appeal at the World Trade Organization supporting its right to ban and test seafood from Japan, although the judgment was based on WTO rules rather than the levels of contaminants in Japanese food or what the right level of consumer protection should be.
In justifying its move to step up testing, Seoul’s food ministry said trace amounts of radiation were detected in around 20 tons out of more than 200,000 tons of total food imports from Japan over the past five years, although its statement noted levels below even Japan’s strict limit of 100 becquerels a kilogram.
H2JSP2VZ3II6LBONLLKZXQMUGI
People shop for fresh seafood at a market in Kanazawa, Japan, in January 2016.
 
South Korea’s qualms about contaminated food at the Olympics fell on deaf ears, according to Japanese media reports, with the organizers saying thorough inspections of Olympic sites had already been carried out and other countries failing to support South Korea’s position.
That’s not to say there are no grounds for concern about a million tons of treated radioactive groundwater stored at the nuclear power plant, environmental groups say.
This month, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, said the tanks at the site would be full by the summer of 2022, as fresh groundwater continues to seep in and become contaminated.
That announcement raised concerns that Tepco may push ahead with a proposal to dilute the treated water and gradually release it into the ocean.
Although many scientists say it is safe to release properly treated water, public trust is low, with Tepco forced to acknowledge last year that the treatment system had so far failed to remove dangerous radioactive elements, including strontium-90.
Local fishermen also oppose releasing the water, arguing such a move would destroy public confidence in marine produce from Fukushima. Japan says no decision has been reached.
Ironically, rice from Fukushima was on the menu at a working lunch during the Group of 20 meeting in Japan in June attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. But Moon left before the rice was served, the presidential office in Seoul said Friday.
Min Joo Kim in Seoul and Akiko Kashiwagi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment