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U.N. experts concerned at Japan’s decision to dump Fukushima nuclear waste-water into the Paific.

UN Experts Decry Japan’s Plan to Dump Radioactive Fukushima Wastewater Into Ocean, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/16/un-experts-decry-japans-plan-dump-radioactive-fukushima-wastewater-ocean?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2W9TNN5pZWTgQjFhnnd_99e_F3cH4y7uPJggM1row-iqAzbRtoZvj2tvM

The decision is particularly disappointing as experts believe alternative solutions to the problem are available,” said the three special rapporteurs.by Brett Wilkins, staff writer  18 Apr 21, A trio of United Nations experts on Thursday added their voices to the chorus of concern over the Japanese government’s decision to dump hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean, saying the move threatens not only the environment but also the human rights of people in and beyond Japan.

Japanese officials announced earlier this week that 1.25 million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the deactivated nuclear plant—which in March 2011 suffered major damage from a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami—would be discharged into the sea starting in about two years. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide called the planned release “a realistic solution.” 

However, anti-nuclear campaigners joined Japan’s neighbors China and South Korea in condemning the decision, with Greenpeace saying that it “completely disregards the human rights and interests of the people in Fukushima, wider Japan, and the Asia-Pacific region.”

Marcos Orellana, Michael Fakhri, and David Boyd—respectively the U.N.’s special rapporteurs on toxics and human rights, the right to food, and human rights and the environment—weighed in on the issue Thursday with a joint statement calling Tokyo’s decision “very concerning.”

“The release of one million tonnes of contaminated water into the marine environment imposes considerable risks to the full enjoyment of human rights of concerned populations in and beyond the borders of Japan,” they said, adding that “the decision is particularly disappointing as experts believe alternative solutions to the problem are available.”

Critics say other options for disposing of the the water, including evaporating and then releasing it into the air, were not fully considered, although nuclear experts stress that evaporation would not isolate radioactivity. 

Japanese officials claim that levels of radioactive tritium are low enough to pose no threat to human health. However, scientists and other experts warn that the isotope bonds with other molecules in water and can make their way up the food chain to humans.

Cindy Folkers, radiation and health hazards specialist at the advocacy group Beyond Nuclear, said in a statement Wednesday that Fukushima Daiichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) “wants us to believe that the radioactive contamination in this water will be diluted in the ocean waters, but some of the radioactive isotopes will concentrate up the food chain in ocean life.”

“Some of the contamination may not travel out to sea and can double back on itself,” said Folkers. “Dilution doesn’t work for radioactive isotopes, particularly tritium, which research shows can travel upstream.”

“TEPCO data show that even twice-through filtration leaves the water 13.7 times more concentrated with hazardous tritium—radioactive hydrogen—than Japan’s allowable standard for ocean dumping, and about one million times higher than the concentration of natural tritium in Earth’s surface waters,” she added. 

Japanese officials did reverse one highly controversial policy related to the wastewater dump this week. Amid intense public backlash, the government hastily retired Little Mr. Tritium, an animated radioactive mascot meant to promote and popularize the discharge. 

“Some of the contamination may not travel out to sea and can double back on itself,” said Folkers. “Dilution doesn’t work for radioactive isotopes, particularly tritium, which research shows can travel upstream.”

“TEPCO data show that even twice-through filtration leaves the water 13.7 times more concentrated with hazardous tritium—radioactive hydrogen—than Japan’s allowable standard for ocean dumping, and about one million times higher than the concentration of natural tritium in Earth’s surface waters,” she added. 

Japanese officials did reverse one highly controversial policy related to the wastewater dump this week. Amid intense public backlash, the government hastily retired Little Mr. Tritium, an animated radioactive mascot meant to promote and popularize the discharge. 

“It seems the government’s desire to release the water into the sea takes priority over everything,” Katsuo Watanabe, an 82-year-old fisher from Fukushima, told Kyodo News. “We fisherman can’t understand it.” 

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Japan, oceans, politics international, wastes | Leave a comment

South Korea raises with USA its worries about Fukushima water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean

South Korea raises Fukushima concerns with U.S,

Yahoo News, April 18, 2021  As U.S. climate envoy John Kerry appeared in Seoul over the weekend to discuss global warming,

South Korea’s foreign ministry says it raised concerns to him over Japan’s plans to dump contaminated water from its defunct Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea…….

Under the plan, more than 1 million tonnes of water will be discharged from the plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Seoul has strongly rebuked the decision……

Kerry’s visit to Seoul precedes U.S. President Joe Biden’s virtual summit with world leaders on climate change, set for two days starting April 22. https://news.yahoo.com/south-korea-raises-fukushima-concerns-080908571.html

April 19, 2021 Posted by | oceans, politics international, South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment

US backs Japan’s Fukushima plans despite S Korea’s concerns

US backs Japan’s Fukushima plans despite S Korea’s concerns

Seoul fails to gain US support against Japan’s decision to release contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear plant.  Aljazeera, 18 Apr 2021

US climate envoy John Kerry has reaffirmed Washington’s confidence in Japan’s decision to release contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea despite concerns raised by South Korea.

Kerry arrived in Seoul on Saturday to discuss international efforts to tackle global warming, on a trip that included a stop in China ahead of President Joe Biden’s virtual summit with world leaders on climate change this month.

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong sought to rally support behind the country’s protest against the Fukushima plan at a dinner meeting with Kerry.

Under the plan, more than one million tonnes of water will be discharged from the plant wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 into the nearby sea off Japan’s east coast.

Seoul strongly rebuked the decision, with the foreign ministry summoning the Japanese ambassador and President Moon Jae-in ordering officials to explore petitioning an international court.

“Minister Chung conveyed our government and people’s serious concerns about Japan’s decision, and asked the US side to take interest and cooperate so that Japan will provide information in a more transparent and speedy manner,” the ministry said in a statement.

But Kerry, at a media roundtable on Sunday, said Tokyo had made the decision in a transparent manner and will continue following due procedures.

“The US is confident that the government of Japan is in very full consultations with the IAEA,” he said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency……..   The former US secretary of state added that Washington would closely monitor Japan’s implementation “like every country, to make certain there is no public health threat”……..    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/18/s-korea-us-show-differences-over-japans-fukushima-plans

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear wastewater ‘fundamentally different’ from normal plants: Chinese ministry,

Fukushima nuclear wastewater ‘fundamentally different’ from normal plants: Chinese ministry,   https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202104/1221363.shtml
By Global Times , 18 Apr 21,  Amid international pushback against Japan’s decision to dump nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment has urged Japan to consider all safe ways of disposal to deal with the issue, as the nuclear-contaminated water is fundamentally different from discharges from other normal nuclear plants.

Regardless of domestic opposition and doubts from the international community, Japan made a unilateral decision to dump the contaminated water into the sea before exhausting all safe ways of disposal or fully consulting with neighboring countries and the international community, the ministry said. 

China, as Japan’s close neighbor and one of the stakeholders in this issue, has expressed grave concerns.

The Chinese environment ministry urged Japan, which has a responsibility to the international community, to conduct further research on all safe ways of disposal and release related information in a timely and transparent way. 

A cautious decision should be made after a careful consideration of all other safe ways of disposal and full consultation with all stakeholders, it said. 
The ministry stressed that the nuclear-contaminated water has fundamental differences from the discharge of a normally operated nuclear plant, either in terms of the original source, category of radionuclides, or disposal treatment imparity.

The Fukushima contaminated wastewater came from the cooling water injected into the melted reactor core after the nuclear accident, as well as groundwater and rainwater that permeated the reactor. It contains a variety of radionuclides in the melted reactor core, which are difficult to treat, it said.
Discharges from a normally operated plant are mainly from the technology and land drainage, which contain few fission nuclides. After being treated and strictly monitored under international standards, such discharges are much less harmful than the international standards require, the ministry noted. 

The ministry also said that China will evaluate the possible impact of nuclear-contaminated wastewater on the marine environment and strengthen monitoring of the radiation in that environment.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

UK’s pursuit of risky investment in nuclear energy may result in no investment in affordable and effective technologies to combat climate change.

Gordon MacKerron: This way is more likely to leave us in the dark,  

“There is a real risk we may get the worst of both worlds, where nuclear investment stalls under a risky investment climate while markets hold back from other investment in the expectation that nuclear is just around the corner.”

The Government says it is committed to nuclear energy, but has done nothing to make it more attractive. The Prime Minister’s announcement last week opens up the danger of the country being left with no new reactors, nor any greener alternatives.

Gordon MacKerron: Can nuclear power play a large part in getting to net-zero? In late 2020, there was a flurry of announcements about climate change and energy – first a ten-point plan for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ followed a few weeks later by a much–delayed energy White Paper.

Nuclear power figures prominently in both narratives, with three possible ways forward. In this blog, Professor MacKerron, CESI Associate Director and Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the Science Policy and Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex discusses these routes.

First, there is a long-term hope that a UK-only commercial fusion design will be ready by 2040.
The second possibility is a push (‘aim’) to have one more large nuclear plant brought to final investment decision by 2024, following the almost-decade-late Hinkley C.

The problems in these two nuclear avenues inevitably throw a lot of weight on to the third strand, the development of so-called modular reactors, both ‘small’ (SMRs) and ‘advanced’ (AMRs).

Even if all nuclear plans worked out as the White Paper hopes – in terms of developing new low-carbon capacity on the predicted time-scale – it is far from clear that this would be  achieved at anywhere near competitive cost.

Even if nuclear power does well, large reactors will play, at best, a very small part in the move to net zero carbon by 2050. While modular reactors could do more, there is huge uncertainty, probable extended timelines and no guarantee of any kind of success. (See also Independent 13th Jan 2008 “There is a real risk we
may get the worst of both worlds, where nuclear investment stalls under a risky investment climate while markets hold back from other investment in the expectation that nuclear is just around the corner.”)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/gordon-mackerron-this-way-is-more-likely-to-leave-us-in-the-dark-770005.html

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian-Chinese company Greenland Minerals to be thwarted in its bid for uranium and rare earth mining in Greenland.

Telegraph 17th April 2021, Overlooking the small fishing town of Narsaq, next to painted houses and slow-moving icebergs, lies one the last great untapped deposits of rare earth materials. About a quarter of the world’s rare earth minerals are thought to be found here, deep in the southern fjords of Greenland, providing key ingredients needed to build everything from wind turbines or electric vehicles. These deposits are crucial to Britain’s dream of developing the technologies required to become a green economy while reducing our rare-earth reliance on China.

But one man could be about to scupper the UK’s plans. Múte Bourup Egede, the 34-year-old leader of the Left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party, won a snap election in Greenland lastweek. At the heart of his election campaign was a pledge to halt the Kvanefjeld project by Greenland Minerals, an Australian company with Chinese ownership.

But for Greenlanders, strategic relevance was eclipsed by concerns surrounding the mine’s uranium contents. The territory’s anxieties around radioactive materials can be traced back to the 1968 Thule plane crash, when a US plane carrying nuclear bombs crashed into the sea ice in Greenland’s north. Even though the nuclear material did not
detonate, as part of clean up efforts the US Air Force collected 1.6m gallons of contaminated snow.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/04/17/battle-rare-earth-minerals-turns-radioactive/

April 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, AUSTRALIA, politics, Uranium | Leave a comment

Iran has named a suspect for the recent attack on its nuclear facility.

Independent 17th April 2021, Iran has named a suspect it alleges is responsible for the attack on the
country’s nuclear facility in Natanz. The incident at the country’s
main uranium enrichment facility last week – which Tehran quickly blamed
on Israel – cast a shadow over vital ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at
salvaging the international deal intended to block Iran’s route to
creating a nuclear arsenal.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-natanz-attack-suspect-b1833238.html

April 19, 2021 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

What is the real reason behind UK design approval for China’s proposed nuclear reactor, supposedly for Bradwell?

What’s it all about?    https://www.banng.info/news/regional-life/whats-it-all-about/      15 April 2021Andy Blowers speculates on the real reason behind the Environment Agency’s recent public consultation on Bradwell B in the BANNG column for the April 2021 edition of Regional Life magazine,

Time to regroup
The February announcement by Chinese nuclear developer, CGN, that it would pause all project work and engagement on Bradwell B for ‘at least a year’ seems in sharp contrast to the Environment Agency (EA) pressing ahead with its consultation on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) on the proposed reactor. Could it be that these apparently conflicting positions are, in fact, mutually compatible? Let me try to explain.

CGN has cited the pandemic as a key reason for the slowdown. Yet, only a year ago, the plans for Bradwell B had emerged, all bells and whistles, just as the pandemic took hold. Despite BANNG and others urging the company to suspend its consultation during the period of lockdown, it pressed ahead claiming the national need for the project was urgent and it was in the public interest that the proposed development ‘is not indefinitely or even substantially delayed’.

Now all is silent on the Bradwell B front while the team apparently regroups, vaguely indicating that essential engagement with local councils and stakeholders will ‘begin again in future years’. An obvious inference from this is that the project is now in limbo and, for Bradwell B at least, the chances of its resurrection must be close to zero. For opponents of Bradwell B it is better that the project sinks now while it is still virtual rather than subsides into the waters under the hammering impacts of climate change when it is a reality of radioactive menace.

Time to consult
But hold on a moment. In another corner of the wood, the Environment Agency has been beavering away with its public consultation on the GDA of the Chinese designed Hualong 1 pressurised water reactor. And yes, it is as technical and tedious as it sounds but, nonetheless, not something to be disregarded, if for no other reason than that it appears to keep the Chinese reactor alive when its producers are withdrawing. So what’s it all about and is it worth responding?

For three months, the EA has made a commendable effort appealing to the general public and stakeholders to respond. ‘We are the Environment Agency. We protect and improve the environment’ and ‘we welcome everyone’s views’. Despite the brio of the appeal, the experience of responding falls somewhat flat.

The consultation document is a formidable 169 pages (plus nine assessment reports) written in technical and uncompromising language. Moreover, it tends to present conclusions to be confirmed rather than open up issues for discussion. The scope is, therefore, limited and evasive.

The consultation is not about Bradwell, but about a ‘generic site’ specified with characteristics similar to Bradwell. This is confusing but it means that a whole range of issues of importance to Bradwell, such as impacts on habitats, the cooling system, flooding, etc., can be passed down the line on the grounds that it is generic, not specific. Overall, the impression is of a decision-making process that is fragmented, incremental and uncoordinated, a situation which is likely to favour the developer and confuse and distract opponents.

Despite its enthusiasm for hearing our views, it is obvious the consultation is not interested in the big issues that concern us most. This is made clear: ‘Our consultation does not relate to a specific site. It is not about the need for nuclear power, the siting of nuclear power stations, nor the safety and security of the design’. So, no point, then, in asking the EA the key question: ‘how can the development of a mega nuclear power station on the generic site conceivably serve the EA’s objective to ‘protect and improve the environment?’.

A passport and a platform
Given the consultation does not seem fit for its ostensible purpose, we may well ask, what is its real purpose? I suggest it is nothing more, nor less than to provide the developer ultimately with the seal of approval from the UK’s regulators, regarded as among the most rigorous in the world. With the imprimatur of UK design approval, the Hualong 1 reactor would be able to launch into markets worldwide. This is what the developer has wanted and what the EA signals it is likely to get. The EA’s preliminary conclusion is that the design is on course to be ‘suitable for use in England’.
And what of Bradwell B? CGN is still going through the motions but may well be considering its position. Does it really want to persist with the project in the face of firmly entrenched opposition? Gaining permission to develop was always improbable and has looked increasingly impossible. But, with a GDA in its pocket, CGN has a passport and a platform, and may be content to walk away from Bradwell and try its luck elsewhere.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

PNM Resources to replace its Palo Verde nuclear energy with 100% solar and battery


Sierra Club 16th April 2021,
 After announcing it would drop one of its leases in the Palo Verde Nuclear plant last year, this month PNM proposed replacing the energy with 100% solar and battery. In support of its proposal, PNM cited the Energy Transition Act’s requirements and the Public Regulation Commission’s decision last year to choose a 100% solar/storage proposalrather PNM’s favored gas-inclusive replacement scenario for San Juan Generating Station coal. The replacement proposal will need to be approved by the commission. In selecting carbon emission-free generation to replace Palo Verde, PNM states in testimony it has taken into
consideration “the state’s energy transition policies and long-term mandate for a carbon emission-free generation portfolio.” While we have yet to delve into all of the details of PNM’s application, this is very
encouraging and we look forward to supporting PNM’s request for prompt approval of replacement resources.

https://www.krwg.org/post/pnm-cites-eta-proposing-100-solar-and-storage-replace-nuclear

April 19, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

April 18 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Rolling Back The Rollbacks: Putting Cars And Trucks Back On Track To Meet Climate Goals” • As the White House gets ready to release new climate targets, the Union Of Concerned Scientists calls for cutting GHG emissions at least a 50% by 2030, compared to 2005. Passenger cars and trucks, the biggest emissions […]

April 18 Energy News — geoharvey

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Violence Begets Violence: America’s Wars Come Home — Rise Up Times

“The notion that perpetual war will somehow bring long-lasting peace is a peculiarly American and often recurring form of doublespeak (saying one thing and meaning the opposite) that permeates the entire national surveillance empire…”

Violence Begets Violence: America’s Wars Come Home — Rise Up Times

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Necessary trouble — Beyond Nuclear International

Freed priest will continue to stand between flock and nuclear danger

Necessary trouble — Beyond Nuclear International

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment