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No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki! — limitless life

July 2020 We Hibakusha [A-bomb survivors] call the atomic bombs ‘weapons of the devil.’ We cannot allow even a single bomb to exist on this planet…. The pain of the victims of that day must not be forgotten. […]

via No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki! — limitless life

July 31, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mysterious case of mass drone incursions over America’s most powerful nuclear power plant

The Night A Drone Swarm Descended On Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant, The Drive,  BY TYLER ROGOWAY AND JOSEPH TREVITHICK JULY 29, 2020  

The mysterious case of mass drone incursions over America’s most powerful nuclear power plant that only resulted in more questions and no changes.

While the news has been filled with claims that strange unidentified craft with unexplainable capabilities are appearing over highly sensitive U.S. installations and assets as of late, a much less glamorous, more numerous, and arguably far more pressing threat has continued to metastasize in alarming ways—that posed by lower-end and even off-the-shelf drones. Less than a year ago and just days after the stunning drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s most critical energy production infrastructure deep in the heart of that highly defended country, a bizarre and largely undisclosed incident involving a swarm of drones occurred on successive September evenings in 2019. The location? America’s most powerful nuclear plant, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station situated roughly two dozen miles west to Phoenix, near Tonopah, Arizona.

In a trove of documents and internal correspondences related to the event, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) described the incident as a “drone-a-palooza” and said that it highlighted concerns about the potential for a future “adversarial attack” involving small unmanned aircraft and the need for defenses against them. Even so, the helplessness and even cavalier attitude toward the drone incident as it was unfolding by those that are tasked with securing one of America’s largest and most sensitive nuclear facilities serves as an alarming and glaring example of how neglected and misunderstood this issue is.

What you are about to read is an unprecedented look inside a type of event that is less isolated in nature than many would care to believe.

A Rapidly Accelerating Threat

Continue reading

July 30, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Assange appears in court, as lawyers warn case may be delayed by new US indictment

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power industry – unsafe and shrouded in secrecy

The alarming safety record of India’s nuclear power plants    https://tribune.com.pk/article/97109/the-alarming-safety-record-of-indias-nuclear-power-plants  In 2016, an emergency was declared when the nuclear plant at Kakrapar was shut down after a major water leak, Syed Zain Jaffery, July 28, 2020

The Indian nuclear power industry is still veiled in confidentiality and opacity while refusing to reveal its safety details. Prominent environmental watchdogs have already voiced apprehensions about safety standards adopted by the nuclear establishment, where technical negligence or poor maintenance is commonplace, and regulatory bodies in India habitually sweep major nuclear accidents under the carpet. The production of nuclear energy is regulated in secrecy by a government body known as the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

It is no mystery as to why India is reluctant to establish a completely autonomous and politically neutral nuclear oversight authority to discretely operate from the industry it oversees. The nuclear disaster in Fukushima demonstrated the significance of independent nuclear oversight. India’s persistent refusal to create an independent regulatory body shows a lack of confidence in maintaining standards which are internationally recognised.

New Delhi constituted the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to adopt international benchmarks and procedures. In reality, however, the AERB is not functioning independently of the Department of Atomic Energy. According to the Indian constitution, the AERB is an authority subservient to the central government via DAE. AERB, being a subordinate body to DAE, has frequently found it challenging to enforce global safety standards on DAE and NPCIL operations. There is a shortage of technical staff and relevant equipment at the AERB, which partially explains why it never implemented a benchmark nuclear safety policy.
The projects related to nuclear energy in India appear to be controversial, with nuclear scientists strangely dying and thousands of Indians chanting slogans against the unabated growth of the nuclear industry without proper safety checks. Locals are not, in most cases, satisfied with the Indian nuclear establishment’s policies and safeguard measures. In pursuit of ambitious nuclear power generation, the government did not even hesitate to open fire on demonstrators protesting against unsafeguarded nuclear power projects. Several radiation fatalities in hospitals near major nuclear power plants have been reported in the last decade.
Additionally, the Indian auditor general has frequently reported that the country’s nuclear programme is unpredictable and unregulated. A parliamentary report has pointed out “serious organisational flaws and numerous failings relative to international norms.” The most important question underlined in the report was the AERB’s insufficient legal status and authority.
The Fukushima catastrophe was a major eye-opener for the countries operating nuclear technologies to generate electricity, but India downplayed the whole incident. Poignantly, India was the first country to declare that the reactors of Fukushima were secure. After the Fukushima accident when global nuclear industry initiated inclusive studies to find out the circumstances that led to the nuclear plant’s failure, the DAE said that the Indian nuclear expansion will continue.

The former chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation, S.K. Jain, was of the view that,

“There is no nuclear accident or incident in Japan’s Fukushima plants. It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme which the nuclear operators of the Tokyo Electric Power company are carrying out to contain the residual heat after the plants had an automatic shutdown following a major earthquake.”

This entire episode shows the lack of awareness in India regarding upholding proper safety procedures through a timely tackling of any evolving threats.

After the Bhopal gas tragedy, India has suffered dozens of mishaps in its nuclear power plants which are installed by foreign companies under a very slack liability framework. Indian citizens have been exhibiting their apprehension on the nuclear industry’s poor reactor safety record, and these anxieties have grown since nuclear power plants installed by foreign franchises often contain substandard parts due to faulty manufacturing. In 2016, an emergency was declared when the nuclear plant at Kakrapar in Gujarat was shut down after a major water leak. The nuclear leak in Kakrapar was far more severe than the Indian government had initially claimed.

Alarmingly, Indian nuclear engineers failed to investigate the exact reason for the leakage. The central government unpublicised the incident and did not even allow ordinary citizens to use geiger-counters to measure radiation. Shockingly, New Delhi has prohibited the use of geiger-counters, which is a global norm, under the vague excuse of national security. An on-site emergency at Kakrapar nuclear power plant and the circumstance that led to the major leakage raises many questions regarding Indian nuclear expertise.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in the opposition, it was the major opponent to civil nuclear expansion in India by citing credible objections on limiting nuclear liability. It also backed the agitators against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and demanded a comprehensive study for the safety of nuclear plants in Jaitapur. Now in government, the BJP has changed its stance and taken a complete U-turn on the issue.
The BJP government has pursued nuclear power irrationally, without taking into account its destructive potential and has failed to respond to criticism. Alarmingly, international suppliers of nuclear technology are finalising nuclear deals with India without analysing security issues related to nuclear safety in the Indian nuclear industry. These business-oriented nuclear deals will create disastrous consequences for not only Indian citizens but also for the entire region.

Syed Zain Jaffery The author holds a Masters degree from NUST, Islamabad and writes about current affairs and politics.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | incidents, India | Leave a comment

New Mexico Governor opposes nuclear waste dump in that state

Gov. argues against Holtec nuclear storage site, Albuquerque  Journal , BY THERESA DAVIS / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER  Tuesday, July 28th, 2020  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, arguing against a proposed nuclear waste interim storage facility in southeast New Mexico.

The proposed Holtec International site would store 500 stainless steel canisters of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel on 1,000 acres between Carlsbad and Hobbs, with a full storage capacity of 10,000 canisters.

“New Mexico has grave concerns for the unnecessary risk to our citizens and our communities, our first responders, our environment, and to New Mexico’s agriculture and natural resource industries,” Lujan Grisham wrote in the letter……

The governor said it would be “economic malpractice” to store spent nuclear fuel underground in a region that depends on agriculture and oil and gas. She added that a “perceived or actual nuclear incident” could disrupt those industries.

“The proposed (facility) would join the ranks of uranium mining, nuclear energy and defense-related programs that have long created risks to public health and the environment in the state of New Mexico that are disproportionately greater than such risks to the general population of the United States,” she wrote……  https://www.abqjournal.com/1480362/gov-argues-against-holtec-nuclear-storage-site.html

 

July 30, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Following the nuclear scandal An Ohio resident has filed a class action lawsuit against FirstEnergy

Ratepayer files class action suit against FirstEnergy amid nuclear plant bailout scandal   https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-energy-lawsuit/ratepayer-files-class-action-suit-against-firstenergy-amid-nuclear-plant-bailout-scandal-idUSL2N2F000N Sebastien Malo, 29 Jul 20,

An Ohio resident has filed a class action lawsuit against FirstEnergy Corp and one of its former subsidiaries, claiming that the electric utilities should pay damages for conspiring with the state’s former House speaker, who was federally charged with conspiring to bail out two of the subsidiary’s nuclear power plants in exchange for $60 million in bribes.

Jacob Smith filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act civil lawsuit against FirstEnergy Corp and First Energy Service Company on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, claiming that tens of thousands of customers were like him wrongly charged on their electricity bills to subsidize the survival of the failing power plant under a law championed by the disgraced politician.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Union of Concerned Scientists, nuclear watchdogs and environmentalists urge against funding for nuclear tests

Groups Push to Remove Proposed Funding for Nuclear Testing  https://www.manufacturing.net/home/news/21141496/groups-push-to-remove-proposed-funding-for-nuclear-testing  Jul 28th, 2020  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)  A Senate defense bill includes funding to resume live testing for the first time in nearly three decades. 

Deep within a multibillion-dollar defense spending measure pending in Congress is an apology to New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and other states affected by radiation from nuclear testing over the decades.

But communities downwind from the first atomic test in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, are still holding out for compensation for health effects that they say have been ongoing for generations due to fallout from the historic blast.

So far, their pleas for Congress to extend and expand a federal radiation compensation program have gone unanswered. The program currently covers workers who became sick as a result of the radiation hazards of their jobs and those who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site.

“When you talk about enhancing plutonium pit production and defense spending in the trillions, you can’t tell us there’s not enough money to do this,” she told The Associated Press. “You can’t expect us to accept that any longer and that adds insult to injury. It’s as if we count for nothing.”

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the New Mexico Democrat who advocated for the apology, continues to push for amendments to the radiation compensation program. His office recently convened a meeting among downwinders, uranium miners, tribal members, other advocates and staff in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

“The congressman believes that the need for medical and monetary compensation has never been more urgent,” said Monica Garcia, a spokeswoman for the congressman.

The concerns of Cordova and other advocates are growing amid rumblings about reported discussions within the Trump administration about whether to conduct live nuclear weapons testing.

The discussions come as the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia nears expiration in 2021. Russia has offered to extend the nuclear arms control agreement while the Trump administration has pushed for a new pact that would also include China.

While the U.S. House has adopted language that would prohibit spending to conduct or make preparations for any live nuclear weapons tests, a group of senators has included $10 million for such an effort in that chamber’s version of the bill.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, nuclear watchdogs and environmentalists all are pushing for the funding to be eliminated. They sent letters this week in opposition and plan to lobby lawmakers.

“A U.S. resumption of nuclear testing would set off an unpredictable and destabilizing international chain reaction that would undermine U.S. security,” reads one letter.

Kevin Davis with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ global security program said resuming live testing would be unnecessary because the U.S. has been able to do sub-critical experiments and use its super computers along with data from past testing to run simulations on the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

The last full-scale underground test was done Sept. 23, 1992, by scientists with Los Alamos National Laboratory at the Nevada Test Site northwest of Las Vegas. Less than two weeks later, then President George H.W. Bush signed legislation mandating a moratorium on U.S. underground nuclear testing.

Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah is among those leading the effort to ban spending for testing. He said thousands of residents in his state are still dealing with trauma and illness as a result of previous testing.

Dozens of groups also signed on to a letter sent to congressional leaders in May advocating for the expansion of the radiation compensation program.

“We can’t continue to allow the government to walk away from their responsibility,” Cordova said.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Should aging nuclear reactors get propped up with subsidies? Ohio scandal highlights this question

After $60M Bribery Charges, Questions Renewed over Ratepayer Subsidies for Nuclear Power    https://www.njspotlight.com/2020/07/after-60m-bribery-charges-questions-renewed-over-ratepayer-subsidies-for-nuclear-power/   TOM JOHNSON | JULY 28, 2020 

New Jersey opted for $300 million annual subsidies only after bitter legislative battle. Will Ohio nuclear scandal initiate new round of skirmishes?

FirstEnergy Corp. CEO Chuck Jones was more than halfway through his second-quarter earnings call Friday, when he could no longer hold in his frustrations. “It’d be really nice,’’ he said softly, ‘’we have 15 minutes left if we could actually talk about the great quarter that we had at some point here.’’

Unfortunately for him, analysts were not interested. Instead, they sought to gauge the Ohio energy giant’s risks and exposure following the announcement three days earlier of its role in the $60 million bribery scandal related to the bailout of two nuclear plants formerly owned by the company. The federal investigation led to the arrest of Ohio’s speaker of the House, his chief political aide and three lobbyists.

The alleged scheme involved using funds from FirstEnergy, its former subsidiary and operator of the plants, and another subsidiary, to help pass a bill last year to keep the plants open with a $1.3 billion subsidy paid for by utility customers. Once enacted into law, funds funneled to a dark-money nonprofit set up by the Ohio Speaker Larry Householder were used to block a referendum seeking to overturn the law.

The scandal has revived questions about whether these aging nuclear plants deserve the subsidies and how they were awarded. New Jersey was one of four states to allow ratepayer subsidies to avoid closing nuclear power plants.

At this juncture, there are more questions than answers relating to FirstEnergy’s , involvement. FirstEnergy, which owns Jersey Central Power & Light and its subsidiaries, is cooperating with the investigation, Jones said. “I believe First Energy acted properly in this matter,’’ Jones told analysts. None of the money from the bailout went to FirstEnergy, he said.

FirstEnergy source of some funds

In the call, peppered repeatedly with questions about the probe, Jones acknowledged about one-quarter of the $60 million in funds diverted to the nonprofit Generation Now came from FirstEnergy. “We do make prudent decisions to spend corporate funds on issues that we believe that are important to our customers and shareholders,’’ he said.

The lobbyists arrested and identified in the 82-page affidavit never worked for FirstEnergy on the nuclear bailout bill, according to Jones. “Who they worked for, I’m not sure, but I know they did not work for us.’’

The Justice Department affidavit never specifically identified companies or entities involved in the scheme, leading to confusion about where in the corporate structure the illegal activity is coming from, according to one analyst.

Renewed criticism about ratepayer subsidies

Still, the affidavit renewed criticism from some in the energy sector over states subsidizing bailout of nuclear power plants, a process that has also occurred in New York, New Jersey and Illinois. In New Jersey, Public Service Enterprise Group and Exelon Corp. won subsidies amounting to $300 million a year to prevent their three plants in South Jersey from closing after a bitter two-year legislative battle.

“This should raise questions in New Jersey whether the ZEC (zero-emission certificate) legislation is necessary,’’ said Glen Thomas, president of the P3 Group, a coalition of energy suppliers that opposes nuclear subsidies. “We now know in Ohio the only reason these bills passed (was) legislators were being bribed.’’

Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, reversing a stance he took only the day before, called for the repeal of the law, saying Householder’s alleged bribery scheme ‘’tainted’’ it.

Others were more circumspect. Paul Patterson, an analyst with Glenrock Associates, asked Jones a question on Friday’s call wondering what, if any, illegal activity was cited in the affidavit against the company. Jones said he would let his prepared remarks answer that question.

“If this is the rules that are set up, and if you are so dependent on government policies, then why are people so surprised that they then try to influence policies,’’ Patterson said in an interview with NJ Spotlight.

According to the Justice Department affidavit, companies in the alleged scheme paid out $60.8 million over a three-year period. Householder was elected speaker in January 2019. Three months later, HB6, the nuclear bailout bill, was introduced and it passed in late May 2019.

Money kept flowing

Even after the bill was enacted, the money still flowed freely, according to the affidavit. At least $450,000 was paid out to 15 signature-collection firms so they would be conflicted by working on behalf of the ballot campaign, the affidavit said. In addition, funds were found to bribe workers collecting signatures, including to find out details about how well the signature signups were going.

In the end, the groups opposing the subsidy failed to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

“These are matters of utmost public concern,’’ said Steven Goldenberg, a lawyer actively involved in the nuclear subsidy case in New Jersey. “It is critical they are decided on their merits, not on behalf of undue political influence.’’

 

July 30, 2020 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard refutes the claim that Marshall Islands nuclear waste site is safe

July 30, 2020 Posted by | OCEANIA, safety | Leave a comment

Need for Prediction of Marine Heatwaves

July 30, 2020 Posted by | climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Examining NuScam’s deceptive claims about Small Nuclear Reactors

Derek Abbott shared a link. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 30 July 20

The claim that SMRs can vary their output to meet the variability on today’s modern grid is disingenuous. The NuScale document below clearly shows the nuclear output is constant and what they do to modulate the output is dump the steam in a condenser.
In other words that will drive up the cost as the full power is not properly utilized.
They realize this issue, and so then go on to discuss desalinating water with the excess power.
However, that is not economically sound either. Much cheaper to desalinate with renewables if that’s what you really need!

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Karl Grossman on the Ohio Nuclear Scandal 2020

July 30, 2020 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Plan for nuclear-weapon free zone is unlikely to impress Israel

Eliminating Israel’s bomb with a nuclear-weapon-free zone?    https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/eliminating-israels-bomb-with-a-nuclear-weapon-free-zone/, 29 Jul 2020 Ramesh Thakur Nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) deepen and extend the scope of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and embed the non-nuclear-weapon status of NPT states parties in additional treaty-based arrangements. This is why several NPT review conferences have repeatedly affirmed support for existing NWFZs and encouraged the development of additional zones.

There are currently five zones: in Latin America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central Asia. At a minimum, all NWFZs prohibit the acquisition, testing, stationing and use of nuclear weapons within the designated territory of the zone. They also include protocols for pledges by nuclear powers not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against members of the zone.

Israel has seemed more interested in implementing a military solution to its security challenges, including the threat of a preventive strike on Iran, than in exploring diplomatic options. But it’s simply not credible that Israel can keep its unacknowledged nuclear arsenal indefinitely, while every other regional state can be stopped from getting the bomb in perpetuity. The alternatives for Israeli security planners are regional denuclearisation or proliferation. The latter would entail the further risks of heightened tension and increased instability. Moreover, a nuclear-weapon capability is of no use to Israel in deterring or managing the threat of terrorism.

Because ‘the logic of using force to secure a nuclear monopoly flies in the face of international norms’, Israel could consider trading its nuclear weapons for a stop to Iran’s development of a nuclear-weapon capability by agreeing to an NWFZ. Conversely, the confidence built among states through an NWFZ process can spill over into other areas of regional interactions. The experience of working together in negotiating a zonal arrangement, and then working together once the zone is operational, generates habits of cooperation and sustains mutual confidence, both of which are necessary conditions for resolving other regional security issues.

Can an NWFZ be used for nuclear disarmament of a non-NPT state?

When the NPT was extended indefinitely in 1995, the package deal included a resolution on the creation of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The resolution required all regional states (including those outside the NPT) to sign, and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to be applied to all nuclear facilities in the region. The 2010 NPT review conference—the last one that had an agreed final document—reiterated the importance of the 1995 resolution and requested the UN secretary-general and Russia, the UK and the US—co-sponsors of the 1995 resolution—to convene a conference in 2012 to that end.

Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava was appointed as the facilitator and Helsinki was named as the venue for the conference scheduled to begin on 17 December 2012. However, on 23 November Victoria Nuland of the US State Department said there would be no conference ‘because of present conditions in the Middle East and the fact that states in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions for a conference’. The failure contributed to the collapse of the 2015 review conference.

Like the Red Queen in Through the looking-glass, the UN has to run very fast just to stay where it is. The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons might be thought to have made another NWFZ redundant. Yet, by an 88 to 4 vote (75 abstentions), UN General Assembly decision 73/546 of 22 December 2018 called on the secretary-general to convene a conference at UN headquarters in 2019 to elaborate a legally binding treaty for establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. Importantly, however, in paragraph a(iii), the document stipulated that all decisions of the conference ‘shall be taken by consensus by the States of the region’. The conference was held on 18–22 November 2019. Its political declaration affirmed ‘the intent and solemn commitment’ to pursue a treaty-based commitment, just like in 1995.

Not surprisingly, Israel is wary of the proposal’s origins in a document to which it did not subscribe, adopted by a conference to review and extend a treaty that it has not signed, whose core prohibition it has ignored. In a formal letter to the secretary-general (document A/72/340 (Part 1), 16 August 2017), Israel emphasised ‘the need for a direct and sustained dialogue between all regional States to address the broad range of security threats and challenges’. It’s difficult to see how negotiations can begin until all states explicitly accept the existence of Israel. No NWFZ has previously been established among states that refuse to recognise one another and do not engage in diplomatic relations and whose number includes some that are formally at war.

The bleak security and political environment in the conflict-riven Middle East is particularly inauspicious for the creation of an NWFZ. There is no regional organisation to initiate and guide negotiations, nor is there a regional dialogue process that can form the backdrop to negotiations. An NWFZ in regions of high conflict intensity may have to follow rather than cause the end of conflicts. Syria is convulsed in a civil war. Egypt has yet to sign the IAEA Additional Protocol and the Chemical Weapons Convention, or ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and the African NWFZ. But it does strongly support a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

Turkey is a NATO member. The possession and deployment of nuclear weapons are integral to NATO doctrine and command structure and US tactical nuclear weapons are based in Turkey. How can this be reconciled with Turkey’s membership of an NWFZ? Alternatively, how meaningful would a Middle Eastern NWFZ be without Turkey?

Most crucially, Israel is already a nuclear-armed state. This immediately raises an obvious but critical question. Is the expectation that Israel will sign a protocol as a nuclear-armed state, or that it must sign the treaty after first eliminating its nuclear weapons? The latter would be without precedent and transform the Middle East NWFZ treaty from a normal non-proliferation treaty into a unique disarmament treaty. An NWFZ is traditionally established as a confidence-building measure among states that have already forsworn the nuclear option. It is unlikely to be established as a disarmament measure, or even to constrain the future potential of states like Iran that retain the nuclear option in their national security calculus.

Ramesh Thakur, a former UN assistant secretary-general, is emeritus professor at the Australian National University and director of its Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Czech Republic and CEZ sign nuclear power plant expansion agreement: require EU approval

July 30, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Local approval still needed, as Japan’s nuclear regulators OK fuel reprocessing plant, despite safety concerns

Nuclear regulators OK fuel reprocessing plant,  NHK, 29 Jul 20, Japan’s nuclear regulators have given a firm the green light to complete the construction of a fuel reprocessing plant, which is the centerpiece of the government’s nuclear fuel recycling policy.The plant in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, is operated by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited. The facility is designed to extract plutonium for recycling from spent nuclear fuel generated by power plants…….

The regulators said on Wednesday that they had received about 760 opinions, and that many of them were about safety. The risk of radioactive materials leaking out was among the concerns.

The regulators concluded that the operator had measures in place to deal with the concerns, and said the firm’s application had been approved.

Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited wants to complete construction by September 2021, and launch operations in 2022. But the construction work, which began 27 years ago, has been delayed by problems. That has caused the cost to balloon to more than 130 billion dollars.

Plans to use the reprocessed plutonium are not moving forward as initially outlined.

The government and energy firm also still need to obtain local approval.  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200729_20/

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment