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USA Bill to protect journalists – EXCEPT FOR JULIAN ASSANGE

press freedom advocates, while supportive of the press freedom bill, said that the legislation would yield the biggest impact if the U.S. followed its own policies.

“Anytime we, or the U.S. government, or members of Congress are talking about press freedom internationally, it’s, in my mind, a good thing,” said Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “But for any of that advocacy to be remotely effective, it’s important for the U.S. to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”

PRESS FREEDOM BILL WOULD PROTECT JOURNALISTS FACING PERSECUTION — BUT NOT JULIAN ASSANGE  https://theintercept.com/2021/09/08/julian-assange-international-press-freedom-act/ 8 Sept21,

Senators say they want to protect foreign journalists from government aggression. But what happens when the U.S. is the aggressor? Rose Adams

September 8 2021, EARLIER THIS YEAR, just days before World Press Freedom Day, Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined forces to introduce the International Press Freedom Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill to protect at-risk journalists working in highly censored countries. The legislation is predicated on the idea that the United States is a uniquely safe place for journalists — but that notion doesn’t always hold up under scrutiny.

Introduced on April 29, the International Press Freedom Act is one of at least three press freedom bills that Congress has considered since Saudi authorities killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. But while other bills have proposed piecemeal protections — such as sanctions on restrictive governments or a government office for threatened journalists — Kaine and Graham’s bill takes a more comprehensive approach. In addition to directing State Department funds toward investigating and prosecuting crimes against journalists abroad, the law would create a new visa category for threatened reporters and open a State Department office with a $30 million annual fund to help journalists report safely or relocate.

Press advocacy groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists have praised Kaine and Graham’s bill, claiming that the legislation would “bolster U.S. foreign diplomacy on global press freedom.” In a statement, Kaine emphasized the U.S.’s responsibility to spread its free speech ethos.

“Enshrined in both our Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, press freedom is a core American value that we must constantly promote around the globe,” he said in a press release. “With this bill, our country will let journalists know that we will protect their right to report and offer safe harbor when they are threatened.”

But that safe harbor doesn’t seem to apply to foreign journalists the U.S. government itself has threatened. For years, the Justice Department has worked to extradite and prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing Army war logs provided by Chelsea Manning in 2010, and increased the pressure following his 2016 publication leaked Democratic Party emails that the Justice Department said were hacked by Russia. And though the government’s extradition efforts are inching closer to fruition amid several U.S. appeals, Kaine and Graham have remained silent.

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September 9, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, media, politics | Leave a comment

Pharyngeal cancer recognized as work-related injury for two convergence workers after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

September 09, 2011
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has recognized the causal relationship between the cancer and the work, and certified it as a work-related accident.
This is the first time that pharyngeal cancer has been recognized as an occupational injury related to the convergence work of the nuclear power plant accident.

The two victims were a man in his 60s who worked for TEPCO, and a man who worked for a subcontractor who developed the disease in his 40s and later died.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, the two men worked on the premises of the plant, removing debris and measuring radiation levels.

However, in December 2018 and January of last year, they both developed pharyngeal cancer and applied for workers’ compensation.

The two men were exposed to about 85 millisieverts and 44 millisieverts, respectively, during their work at the plant.

A panel of experts from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recognized a causal relationship between the two workers’ radiation doses and their cancer, as their radiation doses exceeded 100 millisieverts, which is the standard for certification.

This is the first time that pharyngeal cancer has been recognized as an occupational injury related to the convergence work of the nuclear power plant accident.

Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, six workers have been recognized as suffering from leukemia, thyroid cancer, and lung cancer.


https://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/fukushima/20210909/6050015774.html?fbclid=IwAR0eDtsPcLbpT0RfvjyouZtixTlq91HRm6Gr0G-WaPf2IJ-pa8fo8sHy6 uE

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Energy Markets Bet Against Nuclear As Election Nears In Japan

Energy Markets Bet Against Nuclear As Election Nears In Japan, Oil Price, By Haley Zaremba – Sep 08, 2021  Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga shocked the world on Friday when he announced that he will be stepping down and declining to seek re-election after serving one term. ………

one candidate has emerged as a major frontrunner. ….. Taro Kono served as the minister in charge of battling Covid-19 in Japan. It is looking likely that Kono will garner the support of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), whose majority in the Japanese parliament ensures that any candidate who heads the party will ultimately win the race for Prime Minister. Kono emerged as the clear frontrunner in Japanese media polls over the weekend that asked respondents to indicate their preferred leader.

It remains to be seen whether Taro Kono will take the helm of Japan, but if he sticks to his guns, the Japanese nuclear energy sector could soon recede into the rearview. 

In addition to being known for his role in combating the novel coronavirus pandemic, Kono is also a noted anti-nuclear advocate with a long history of outspoken dissent about the nuclear energy that currently represents a fifth of Japan’s energy mix. Due to this history, the news of Kono’s ascent toward the Prime Minister position on Monday has already sent shockwaves through Japan’s energy markets.

So far, renewable energy markets are winning big. “Frenzied buying from retail traders sent Japan’s renewable energy stocks soaring Monday,” in response to Kono’s emergence as a top contender according to reporting from Bloomberg. Solar and biomass power company Renova Inc. saw its stock increase by 15% while solar firm West Holdings Co. hit an all-time high after its stocks jumped 9%. These gains came at a cost to nuclear energy firms and power companies, and Kansai Electric Power Co. stocks notably dropped 2.7%.

Although the markets have already spoken, it remains to be seen whether Kono will stick to his staunchly anti-nuclear stance if he enters office as Prime Minister. “Whether he will actually reflect his previous stance into his policies once the race for the prime minister position begins is a different story,” Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Tokyo’s Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. was quoted by Bloomberg. “The market is just getting ahead of itself.”

……..  Currently, the national plan “calls for renewable sources to provide between 22% and 24% of Japan’s electricity by 2030, and for nuclear energy to provide between 20% and 22%.” But nuclear energy is a hard sell in Japan, a country that is still recovering from the devastating 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster

Just this week, a full decade after the tragedy caused by an earthquake and ensuing tsunami, the International Atomic Energy Agency is reaching out to Japan to work alongside them in their continuing struggles to manage the radioactive waste still piling up after the 2011 accident. Japan has continued to use more than a million tonnes of water to cool the damaged reactors and prevent a meltdown, and now they’re running out of storage space for the radioactive waste water. Their plan? Dump it into the Pacific Ocean. 

The continued complications and hazardous aftereffects of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima throw the dark side of nuclear into stark relief for the Japanese public. ……… It remains to be seen whether Taro Kono will take the helm of Japan, but if he sticks to his guns, the Japanese nuclear energy sector could soon recede into the rearview. https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Energy-Markets-Bet-Against-Nuclear-As-Election-Nears-In-Japan.html

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

NEW -British Scientist discovers the cause of cancer in the Hiroshima Black Rain survivors -2021

British Scientist discovers the cause of cancer in the Hiroshima Black Rain survivors

Massive errors in the basis of legal controls on radiation exposures

In a peer-reviewed paper published by the respectable journal Cancer Investigations ,British Scientist Dr Christopher Busby reveals the results of his investigative research into the Hiroshima A-Bomb Black Rain, torrential rain that fell on Hiroshima after the detonation of the US atomic bomb.

The issue of cancer risks in people who lived in the area of the back rain was headlined recently when the Japanese government lost a court case taken by Hibakusha groups who believed that their cancers were a result of the A-Bomb, but who lived in the black rain areas too far from the detonation to have received any external radiation dose. One problem for these people is that there has been no scientific explanation. The black rain was believed to be insufficiently radioactive to cause cancer.

The report: “The Hiroshima A-Bomb black rain—a resolution of the enigma” provides evidence from an obscure US restricted report from 1976, declassified in 2014, that the 55kg of unfissioned material of the bomb, Enriched Uranium, contained vary large amounts of the Uranium isotope U234 which formed the condensation nuclei for the black rain and contaminated Hiroshima’s water and air for many years.

The calculated exposures from the long-lived Uranium particles due to inhalation and ingestion by those living in Hiroshima after the bomb were 10,000 times greater than exposures to the isotope Caesium-137. U-234, which is lighter than U235 (the fissile component) is extracted into the Enriched Uranium during the separation process.

Dr Busby said: “It is astonishing that no one has drawn attention to the presence of large amounts of this dangerous long lived alpha emitter on the test sites. All the calculations that have been made of exposures, from Hiroshima to the Marshall Islands tests, to Christmas Island, will have to be re-assessed.”

He added: “Of course, this also means that the Life Span Study basis of the current radiation risk models is worthless. The true risks from internal exposures to Uranium, as in Depleted Uranium weapons, are more than a hundred times or more than current legal limits are based on. The implications of this discovery are clearly massive and far-reaching for all things involving nuclear.”

Dr Busby (aged 76) is an international expert on radiation and health and served on two British Government committees. He represented Nuclear Test Veterans in the Royal Courts of Justice in 2016. He relocated to Latvia in 2020 after Brexit where he continues to carry out research on internal radiation and health.

The paper can be found at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07357907.2021.1977818?src=&journalCode=icnv20

Dr Busby’s CV can be found at: www.greenaudit.org

Contact:

Richard Bramhall; lowradcampaign@gmail.com +44 7887 942043

Christopher Busby christo@greenaudit.org +371 29419511; +447989428833

Other recent reports and findings on how science is challenging industry beliefs on health risks after nuclear accidents and nuclear testing;

September 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | 4 Comments

Reflecting on 9/11: How the attack upped safety at nuclear power plants throughout Carolinas

Reflecting on 9/11: How the attack upped safety at nuclear power plants throughout Carolinas,  Taylor Young, wrbl,  Sep 8, 2021 / ”…………..  After major concerns over safety and the possibility of the facility being a future target, the  the McGuire Nuclear Power Plant   was forced to stop operations earlier this year. …….  McGuire Nuclear Station Vice President Tom Ray   said the plant was already designed to handle threats from the air but has since cracked down on ground security……. https://www.wrbl.com/news/reflecting-on-9-11-how-the-attack-upped-safety-at-nuclear-power-plants-throughout-carolinas/

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

San Onofre’s nuclear waste buried under the beach – the best example of the failure of the nuclear industry and its poor outlook for the future

A combination of failures:’ why 3.6m pounds of nuclear waste is buried on a popular California beach, Guardian, Kate Mishkin 24 Aug 21, 

The San Onofre reactors are among dozens across the United States phasing out, but experts say they best represent the uncertain future of nuclear energy.

It’s a combination of failures, really,”

Spent fuel is stored at 76 reactor sites in 34 states

It’s a self-reporting industry,” Hering, the retired rear admiral, said. “And they simply can’t be trusted.”


More than 2 million visitors flock each year to California’s San Onofre state beach, a dreamy slice of coastline just north of San Diego. The beach is popular with surfers, lies across one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the Unites States and has a 10,000-year-old sacred Native American site nearby. It even landed a shout-out in the Beach Boys’ 1963 classic Surfin’ USA.

But for all the good vibes and stellar sunsets, beneath the surface hides a potential threat: 3.6m lb of nuclear waste from a group of nuclear reactors shut down nearly a decade ago. Decades of political gridlock have left it indefinitely stranded, susceptible to threats including corrosion, earthquakes and sea level rise.

The San Onofre reactors are among dozens across the United States phasing out, but experts say they best represent the uncertain future of nuclear energy.

“It’s a combination of failures, really,” said Gregory Jaczko, who chaired the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the top federal enforcer, between 2009 and 2012, of the situation at San Onofre.

That waste is the byproduct of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (Songs), three nuclear reactors primarily owned by the utility Southern California Edison (SCE).

Buried waste

Federal regulators had already cited SCE for several safety issues, including leaking radioactive waste and falsified firewatch records. But when a new steam generator began leaking a small amount of radioactivity in January 2012, just one year after it was replaced, it was SCE’s most serious problem yet. A subsequent report from the NRC’s inspector general found federal inspectors had overlooked red flags in 2009, and that SCE had replaced its own steam generators without proper approval. SCE tried to fix the problem but decided in 2013 to shut the plant down for good.Activists thought they had scored a victory when the reactor shut down – until they learned that the nuclear waste they had produced would remain on-site……

Without a government-designated place to store the waste, the California Coastal Commission in 2015 approved the construction of an installation at San Onofre to store it until 2035In August 2020, workers concluded the multi-year burial process, loading the last of 73 canisters of waste into a concrete enclosure.

San Onofre is not the only place where waste is left stranded. As more nuclear sites shut down, communities across the country are stuck with the waste left behind. Spent fuel is stored at 76 reactor sites in 34 states, according to the Department of Energy.

Handling those stockpiles has been an afterthought to the NRC, the federal enforcer, said Allison Macfarlane, another former commission chair.

“It was not a big topic at the NRC, unfortunately,” Macfarlane said. “In the nuclear industry in general the backend of the nuclear cycle gets very little attention. So it just never rises to ‘oh this is a very important issue, we should be doing something.’”

Plenty of risks, and not enough oversight

The waste is buried about 100ft from the shoreline, along the I-5 highway, one of the nation’s busiest thoroughfares, and not far from a pair of faults that experts say could generate a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.

Another potential problem is corrosion. In its 2015 approval, the Coastal Commission noted the site could have a serious impact on the environment down the line, including on coastal access and marine life. “The [installation] would eventually be exposed to coastal flooding and erosion hazards beyond its design capacity, or else would require protection by replacing or expanding the existing Songs shoreline armoring,” the document says.

Concerns have also been raised about government oversight of the site. Just after San Onofre closed, SCE began seeking exemptions from the NRC’s operating rules for nuclear plants. The utility asked and received permission to loosen rules on-site, including those dealing with record-keeping, radiological emergency plans for reactors, emergency planning zones and on-site staffing.

San Onofre isn’t the only closed reactor to receive exemptions to its operating licence. The NRC’s regulations historically focused on operating reactors and assumed that, when a reactor shut down, the waste would be removed quickly.

It’s true that the risk of accidents decreases when a plant isn’t operating, said Dave Lochbaum, former director of the nuclear safety project for the Union of Concerned Scientists. But adapting regulations through exemptions greatly reduces public transparency, he argued.

“Exemptions are wink-wink, nudge-nudge deals with the NRC,” he said.

In general, it’s not really a great practice,” former NRC chair Jaczko said about the exemptions. “If the NRC is regulating by exemption, it means that there’s something wrong with the rules … either the NRC believes the rules are not effective, and they’re not really useful, or the NRC is not holding the line where the NRC should be holding line,” he said.

Close calls

In 2015, the NRC tried unsuccessfully to revise its decommissioning rules and reduce the need for exemptions. But commissioners never acted, despite a 2019 Office of Inspector General audit that questioned whether the rule would ever see the light of day and that estimated that eliminating exemptions could save the NRC, utility and taxpayers about $19m for each reactor.

In general, it’s not really a great practice,” former NRC chair Jaczko said about the exemptions. “If the NRC is regulating by exemption, it means that there’s something wrong with the rules … either the NRC believes the rules are not effective, and they’re not really useful, or the NRC is not holding the line where the NRC should be holding line,” he said.

Meanwhile, at San Onofre, two close calls drew the ire of activists and townspeople. In 2018, workers found a loose piece of equipment in one of the canisters, causing a 10-day work stoppage to ensure the error didn’t pose a threat to the public. In a separate incident several months later, a canister filled with radioactive waste became wedged when employees were loading it into the ground and nearly dropped 18ft. The second incident was not made public until a whistleblower brought it up at a community event.

After these incidents, the NRC cited SCE for failing to ensure equipment was available to protect the canister from a drop, and failing to notify the NRC in a timely manner. In a memo, NRC staff told SCE it was “concerned about apparent weaknesses” in managing storage oversight. SCE was fined $116,000 but permitted to continue loading casks within one year.

Another concern is that the CEO of Holtec, the manufacturer of the canisters, told a 2014 community meeting that the canisters are difficult to repair. “It’s not practical to repair a canister if it were damaged,” Kris Singh said.

According to a plan the California Coastal Commission approved in July 2020, SCE will also inspect two of the 73 buried canisters every five years, and a test canister every two and a half years, starting in 2024.

But critics say they are not confident SCE would self-report given the utility’s record. “It’s a self-reporting industry,” Hering, the retired rear admiral, said. “And they simply can’t be trusted.”……….. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/24/san-onofre-nuclear-power-plant-radioactive-waste-unsafe

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

IAEA Seeks Japan Transparency in Release of Fukushima Water

IAEA Seeks Japan Transparency in Release of Fukushima Water, By Mari Yamaguchi | September 8, 2021  TOKYO (AP) — Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency asked Japan on Tuesday for full and detailed information about a plan to release treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

The three-member team, which is assisting Japan with the planned release, met Tuesday with government officials to discuss technical details before traveling to the Fukushima Daiichi plant for an on-site examination Wednesday. They will meet with Japanese experts through Friday…….. https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2021

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party hopes that presidential contender Taro Kono will drop his anti nuclear stance.


LDP leadership race hopeful Taro Kono modifies stance on nuclear energy  Japan Times 8 Sept 21
, Liberal Democratic Party leadership race hopeful Taro Kono indicated his readiness on Wednesday to accept the restart of idled nuclear power plants for the time being, in order for Japan to realize its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“It’s necessary to some extent to restart nuclear plants that are confirmed to be safe, as we aim for carbon neutrality,” Kono, currently regulatory reform minister, told reporters.

Kono, known as an advocate for a shift away from nuclear energy, is eager to run in the ruling party’s leadership election on Sept. 29 to select a successor to outgoing LDP President and Prime Minister Yoshihide .

However, there are concerns among some LDP members over his position on the issue. Kono apparently modified his stance to win broader support ahead of the party election.

“Basically, our priority is to increase the use of renewable energy sources, but it would be possible to use nuclear plants whose safety is confirmed for now if there are power supply shortages,” Kono said.

“Nuclear plants will disappear eventually, but I’m not saying that they should be scrapped immediately, like tomorrow or next year,” he added.

With Kono also in charge of COVID-19 vaccine rollout, some people are questioning whether it would be possible for him to continue in the role while campaigning for the LDP presidency.

“I don’t think (my election campaign) would affect my duties,” Kono said…..  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/08/national/politics-diplomacy/kono-nuclear/

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear ”ethics” – fatally ill man kept alive against his will, in the cause of nuclear research


In 1999 an accident at a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant caused one of its technicians, Hisashi Ouchi, to be exposed to high levels of radiation. He was kept alive for 83 days, against his will, by doctors so they could use his body to study the effects of radiation on humans.Hisashi Ouchi was one of three employees of the Tokaimura nuclear plant to be heavily impacted by the accident on 30 September 1999.

The Man Kept Alive Against His Will

How modern medicine kept a ‘husk’ of a man alive for 83 days against his will

https://historyofyesterday.com/the-man-kept-alive-againsthttps://historyofyesterday.com/the-man-kept-alive-against-his-will-647c7a24784 Colin  Aneculaese  27 July 2020, Radiation has always been a subject of great interest for many scientists. Since its discovery and weaponisation, many have looked into its impact on living organisms, especially humans. As a result, many living being suffered at the hands of those who sought to find the real impact of radiation on living beings. Throughout the years this experimentation was mainly focused on animals as it would be unethical to test such a thing on humans.

Outside of major nuclear events such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the meltdowns of nuclear facilities such as nuclear power plants, the effect of radiation on humans could not be tested. As such after the 1999 Tokaimura nuclear accident, many scientists jumped at the opportunity to study the victims of such a high amount of explosion to radiation. Out of all the victims of the disaster, the case of Hisashi Ouchi stands out.

Tokaimura nuclear plant

Hisashi Ouchi was one of three employees of the Tokaimura nuclear plant to be heavily impacted by the accident on 30 September 1999. Leading up to the 30th of the month the staff at the Tokaimura nuclear plant were in charge of looking after the process of dissolving and mixing enriched uranium oxide with nitric acid to produce uranyl nitrate, a product which the bosses of the nuclear plant wanted to have ready by the 28th.

Due to the tight time constraints, the uranyl nitrate wasn’t prepared properly by the staff with many shortcuts being used to achieve the tight deadline. One of these shortcuts was to handle the highly radioactive produce by hand. During their handling of the radioactive produce while trying to convert it into nuclear fuel (uranyl nitrate is used as nuclear fuel) for transportation the inexperienced three-man crew handling the operation made a mistake.

During the mixing process, a specific compound had to be added to the mixture, the inexperienced technicians added seven times the recommended amount of the compound to the mixture leading to an uncontrollable chain reaction being started in the solution. As soon as the Gamma radiation alarms sounded the three technicians knew they made a mistake. All three were exposed to deadly levels of radiation, more specifically Ouchi receiving 17 Sv of radiation due to his proximity to the reaction, Shinohara 10 Sv and Yokokawa 3 Sv due to his placement at a desk several meters away from the accidents. When being exposed to radiation it is said that anything over 10 Sv is deadly, this would prove to be true in this instance.

The fallout of radiation

Shinohara, the least affected out of the two who received a deadly dose of radiation, lasted 7 months in hospital until 27 April 2000. The technician died of lung and liver failure after a long battle against the effects of the radiation he endured. During his, 7-month stay at the University of Tokyo Hospital several skin grafts, blood transfusions and cancer treatments were performed on him with minimal success. Shinohara’s time at the University of Tokyo Hospital would be much less painful than Ouchi’s.

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Protests as France sends latest shipment of used nuclear fuel to Japan 

Protests as France sends latest nuclear shipment to Japan   https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210908-protests-as-france-sends-latest-nuclear-shipment-to-japanActivists from environmental group Greenpeace protested against a shipment of reprocessed nuclear fuel that was set to leave France for Japan on Wednesday for use in a power plant.

The load of highly radioactive Mox, a mixture of reprocessed plutonium and uranium, was escorted by police from a plant near the port of Cherbourg to the dockyard in the early hours of the morning.

A handful of Greenpeace activists waved flags and signs with anti-nuclear logos as they camped out on Tuesday night to wait for the heavy-goods truck transporting the high-security cargo.The Mox from French nuclear technology group Orano is destined for a nuclear plant in Takahama in Japan and is the seventh such shipment from France since 1999.
Japan lacks facilities to process waste from its own nuclear reactors and sends most of it overseas, particularly to France.

The country is building a long-delayed reprocessing plant in Aomori in northern Japan.

“Orano and its partners have a longstanding experience in the transport of nuclear materials between Europe and Japan, in line with international regulations with the best safety and security records,” Orano said in a September 3 statement.

The fuel is being shipped by two specially designed ships from British company PNTL.

September 9, 2021 Posted by | France, Japan, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Iran blocking UN atomic agency access to nuclear-related sites, IAEA says

Iran blocking UN atomic agency access to nuclear-related sites, IAEA says, Mint.  LAURENCE NORMAN, The Wall Street Journal, 8 Sep 21,

  • U.S., European powers must now decide whether to seek formal censure of Tehran, U.N. atomic agency says. Iran is refusing to allow inspectors access to nuclear-related sites and hindering a probe by the United Nations atomic agency while continuing to expand its nuclear activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in two confidential reports Tuesday, casting doubt on efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The reports leave the Biden administration and its European allies facing a choice between pushing for a formal rebuke of Iran—which Tehran’s new hard-line government has warned could scuttle the resumption of nuclear talks—or refraining from action, potentially undercutting the authority of the IAEA and its leadership.

The future of the nuclear deal is already in the balance. New Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, pressed by European and U.S. officials to quickly resume the talks on restoring the deal, has said his government is prepared to return to the Vienna negotiations but refused to fix a date. The last talks took place in June…… (subscribers only)  https://www.livemint.com/economy/iran-blocking-un-atomic-agency-access-to-nuclear-related-sites-iaea-says-11631033739871.html

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN General Assembly President calls for halt to nuclear tests

General Assembly President calls for halt to nuclear tests,   https://www.miragenews.com/general-assembly-president-calls-for-halt-to-628411/The President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, on Wednesday called for an end to nuclear tests, as ambassadors gathered to commemorate the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed annually on 29 August.

Despite recent developments in advancing nuclear disarmament, more remains to be done, said Mr. Bozkir, urging countries which have yet to sign or ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so without delay.

More than 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted since the advent of nuclear weapons. While the rate of testing has declined, they have not stopped,” he said.

“These tests have long lasting health and environmental consequences. They devastate the communities they impact. They displace families from their homelands.”

Progress on disarmament

Underlining the General Assembly’s commitment to nuclear disarmament, Mr. Bozkir welcomed progress achieved over the past year amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in 2017, entered into force this past January after securing the required 50 ratifications.

The United States and Russia also extended their nuclear arms reduction agreement, known as the New START Treaty, for an additional five years through February 2026.

Work lies ahead

However, he stressed that more needs to be done, including arranging meetings to review the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which must be held no later than February 2022, and convening the Fourth Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia, postponed since April 2020.

Mr. Bozkir also called for action to advance the CTBT, adopted in 1996, which bans all explosive nuclear weapons tests anywhere and by any nation.

The treaty has been signed by 185 countries, and ratified by 170, including three nuclear weapon States. However, it must be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries before it can enter into force.

“As my term as the President of the General Assembly comes to an end in a few days, I would like to take this opportunity to call on States that have yet to sign or ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, to do so as soon as possible,” said Mr. Bozkir.

End of an era

The International Day against Nuclear Tests commemorates the 29 August 1991 closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, where more than 450 nuclear devices were exploded over four decades during the Soviet era.

The closure signalled “the end of the era of unrestrained nuclear testing”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message to the event, which was delivered by UN High Representative for Disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu.

The Secretary-General also called for the CTBT to be ratified, and for renewed global commitment to end nuclear tests.

September 9, 2021 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iodide tablets offered as precaution to residents living near nuclear plants


Iodide tablets offered as precaution to residents living near nuclear plants 69 News NCPA Staff, Sep 8,
2021 

Harrisburg, Pa. — The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets on Thursday, Sept. 9 and 16, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants. 

“Emergency preparedness is an important aspect of public health and having potassium iodide tablets for residents who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear facility is an essential preparedness action in the case of a radiological emergency,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. 

“It’s important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when instructed to do so by state health officials or the governor, and it is not a substitute for evacuation in the case of a radiological emergency at one of Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities.”  ………

The tablets are available to all Pennsylvanians who live or work within 10 miles of the state’s four active nuclear power plants by visiting a distribution center listed below, calling the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visiting a  county and municipal health department or state health center. KI tablets are not required for people living and working within 10 miles of the Three Mile Island Generating Station, which closed in Sept. 2019. …….   https://www.wfmz.com/news/state/iodide-tablets-offered-as-precaution-to-residents-living-near-nuclear-plants/article_cdf107cc-5b25-5959-adc1-08805c43f0e4.html

September 9, 2021 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Russia aims to dominate the Arctic, with nuclear ice-breakers

Moscow eyes ‘mastering’ Arctic waters with nuclear icebreaker fleet, Daily Sabah, BY FRENCH PRESS AGENCY – AFP, 8 Sept 21,

 ABOARD THE ’50 YEARS OF VICTORY’ TRANSPORTATION SEP 08, 2021 11:24 AM GMT+3   
s ice cover in the Arctic recedes with climate change, Russia is hard at work to secure supremacy in the warming region with a fleet of giant nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Moscow sees the development of the Arctic as a historic mission and already has huge projects to exploit its natural resources.

Its next big plan is for year-round use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), a shipping lane through Arctic waters Russia hopes could rival the Suez Canal.

Here are some key facts about Russia’s plans for the Arctic:

Historic ambitions

As an icebreaker called the “50 Years of Victory” left the port of Murmansk for the North Pole this summer, its captain told an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist on board that Russia has a special role to play in the Arctic.

“A third of our territory lies above the Arctic Circle. Our ancestors have long mastered frozen waters. We are continuing this successfully,” Dmitry Lobusov said.

President Vladimir Putin has made the development of the Arctic a strategic priority and state companies such as Gazprom Neft, Norilsk Nickel and Rosneft already have major projects in the Arctic to extract oil, gas and minerals.

“The Arctic region has enormous potential,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this month.

“In terms of resources, we’re talking about 15 billion tons of oil and 100 trillion cubic meters of gas. Enough for tens if not hundreds of years,” he said.

Suez alternative

The NSR links the Pacific to the Atlantic through Russian Arctic waters.

It is not currently navigable year-round without the help of icebreakers, though in summer some specialized classes of ships can pass through.

With the ice cover receding, Moscow is aiming for year-round navigation by 2030…………..

Growing fleet

Rosatom, which already has a fleet of five icebreakers and a container ship, is building four more nuclear-powered vessels within the next five years.,,,,,,,,,,,

Environmental worries

Environmental groups have slammed the race for hydrocarbons and the increased presence of nuclear reactors in the Arctic – an already fragile ecosystem dramatically affected by climate change.

Greenpeace has said that “the incident-ridden history of Russian nuclear icebreakers and submarines” should cause alarm.,,,,   https://www.dailysabah.com/business/transportation/moscow-eyes-mastering-arctic-waters-with-nuclear-icebreaker-fleet

September 9, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Exelon Corp hanging on in hope that Illinois government will bail out 2 nuclear power stations

Illinois House inches closer to saving two nuclear plants, By Timothy Gardner  WASHINGTON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The Illinois House plans to consider an energy bill on Thursday, the House speaker said, that could prevent two Exelon Corp nuclear power plants from shutting in coming days and months.
The Illinois Senate on Sept. 1 passed a bill that contains more than $600 million in carbon mitigation credits for nuclear plants, which generate virtually emissions-free electricity. [as long as you don’t count the full dirty nuclear fuel chain]

………. U.S. nuclear plants have been struggling to compete with wind and solar farms and plants that burn low-cost natural gas. Exelon (EXC.O) has said it will close its Byron nuclear plant on Sept. 13 and its Dresden plant in November if a state or federal program does not come to the rescue.

Preventing nuclear plants from closing has been a priority for the administration of President Joe Biden, which has supported tax incentives for nuclear in federal infrastructure legislation and sees the plants as important to its goal of decarbonizing the power grid by 2035.

Exelon has said the federal incentives alone could not come fast enough to save the plants. The company said it has authorized uranium fuel shipments to Byron for use if the legislation passes. But Exelon said the fuel will be shipped to another plant if no action is taken and Byron will permanently shut. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/illinois-house-inches-closer-saving-two-nuclear-plants-2021-09-07/

September 9, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment