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Japan’s plan for dumping nuclear waste-water into the sea

Japan’s government on Tuesday mapped out a plan for releasing contaminated
water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, including
compensation standards for local industry and the compilation of a safety
assessment report. Japan said in April it would discharge more than 1
million tonnes of contaminated water in stages after treatment and
dilution, starting around spring 2023. The announcement provoked concerns
from local fishermen and objections from neighbouring China and South
Korea.

 Reuters 28th Dec 2021

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/japan-maps-out-action-plan-disposal-fukushima-water-2021-12-28/

December 30, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

France to lead the European Council – a worrying situation as Macron cosies up to polluting corporations, especially nuclear.

In January, France will take on the rotating Presidency of the Council of
the EU for six months. This Presidency will have a particular resonance
both in France itself, coinciding as it does with Emmanuel Macron’s
re-election campaign, and at the European level, with many critical pieces
of legislation and policy on the line.

It is therefore worrying that this
Presidency has been prepared in close collaboration with the French
corporate sector, and is setting a policy agenda that strongly reflects
business demands.

In the name of climate action, the French Government is
pushing for more public support and funding for controversial industries,
including a renewed push for the nuclear sector. For the sake of nuclear
energy, the French Government appears willing to undermine the integrity of
the European Green Deal and other EU policies on the climate crisis, for
instance with the demand that gas is seen as ‘green’ in the Green
Taxonomy which will direct financial flows accordingly, and generally
through the prioritisation of industry-pushed ‘techno-fixes’ instead of
structural changes to make our lives more sustainable.

 Corporate Europe 20th Dec 2021

https://corporateeurope.org/en/under-influence-distorted-priorities

December 30, 2021 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

Consider the potential risks of having nuclear submarines on Devonport Dockyard

 After news broke this year that Devonport Dockyard is getting a £1billion
rebuild to meet the requirements of the Navy’s futuristic
Dreadnought-class ballistic missile subs, you might be left thinking about
the potential risks of an increased nuclear presence in the west of
Plymouth. Although the subs won’t enter service until the 2030s, it’s
better to be safe than sorry. Or maybe you’ve considered the potential risk
associated with the 12 submarines which still have their nuclear cargo
intact on the dock.

 Plymouth Live 29th Dec 2021

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/what-nuclear-disaster-declared-plymouth-6238969

December 30, 2021 Posted by | safety, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Rare stoppage in Sweden’s Forsmark nuclear power station

 The Forsmark nuclear power station in eastern Sweden suffered a rare
stoppage in one of its three nuclear reactors early Tuesday. Officials at
power company Vattenfall say it was due to a faulty signal causing an
automatic stop in reactor 1. Electricity production was reduced but no
safety fears are reported.

 Sveriges Radio 28th Dec 2021

https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/faulty-sign-prompts-rare-stoppage-at-forsmark-nuclear-reactor

December 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Plutonium found on a beach near Sellafield

 While in Cumbria on a visit hosted by Radiation Free Lakeland in 2015,
former United States Nuclear Industry Regulator Arnie Gundersen now nuclear
educator with Fairewinds took samples from the beaches. These samples were
tested back in the US. One of the samples unintentionally collected was
found in Arnie’s coat pocket. It turned out to be plutonium. “Arnie’s
time sampling near Sellafield is part of our worldwide campaign to protect
families and communities from the devasting and lasting impact of radiation
exposure. Currently, we have begun the process of researching and
documenting our Irish Sea data for another peer-reviewed journal
article.”

 Radiation Free Lakeland 27th Dec 2021

December 30, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, UK | Leave a comment

Ukraine aims to produce enough uranium for nuclear energy needs


Ukraine aims to produce enough uranium for nuclear energy needs

Reuters   KYIV, 29 Dec 21, – Ukraine, facing a lack of fuel for thermal power plants and surging gas prices, aims to increase its uranium production to cover fully the needs of its nuclear power units after 2026, the government said on Wednesday.

Under a national programme the government adopted on Wednesday, Ukraine will invest 9.1 billion hryvnia ($335 million) over the next five years to increase uranium mining and processing facilities in the centre of the country.

It said the production at four Ukrainian uranium deposits would total 995 tonnes in 2022 and should rise to 1,265 tonnes in 2026.

It gave no uranium output figure for 2021 but said current production meets around 40% of Ukraine’s needs for nuclear fuel.The rest comes from imports from Russia and the United State…….. https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/ukraine-aims-produce-enough-uranium-nuclear-energy-needs-2021-12-29/

December 30, 2021 Posted by | Ukraine, Uranium | Leave a comment

China hits back at ‘double standards’ amid US tech war, Washington’s nuclear weapon concerns

Beijing issued its first white paper on export controls on Wednesday, a month after 12 more Chinese companies were placed on the United States’ export blacklist

The ‘China’s Export Controls’ white paper argues that no country or region should ‘gratuitously impose discriminatory restrictions or apply ‘double standards’…….. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3161447/china-hits-back-double-standards-amid-us-tech-war-washingtons

December 30, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear Twilight – the ”limited” nuclear war

‘Nuclear twilight’: Something else to worry about, Stuff  Gwynne Dyer05:00, Dec 30 2021  ”………………… A different team of researchers discovered nuclear winter almost 40 years ago, and it helped to convince the great powers they must never fight a nuclear war.

The reason we don’t worry much about nuclear winter now is that we think they have finally learned that lesson.

True, there are now other countries with nuclear weapons that don’t seem immune to outbreaks of major war, like India and Pakistan. However, everybody assumed the damage would be confined to their own region.

If we don’t let it escalate into a superpower clash, the rest of the world should be all right.

Wrong.

The Indian and Pakistani nuclear arsenals each amount to about 150 warheads now. That’s a modest number compared to the thousands held by the superpowers, but it turns out to be quite enough to cause…let’s call it a nuclear twilight.

What makes this so worrisome is that India and Pakistan have already fought three full-scale wars and half a dozen major skirmishes since they got their independence.

Another is entirely possible, and the risk of escalation to nuclear weapons would be very high, for two reasons.

First, most of their nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles are vulnerable to being destroyed on the ground in a surprise attack.

Secondly, the two countries are so close together that only a very brief warning time is available. In these circumstances, a policy of ‘launch on warning’, with all the risk of mistakes that entails, is the only rational option for both sides

The first victims of such a war would be Pakistani and Indian civilians, because cities will be on the target lists: that’s where the major ports, airfields and critical infrastructure are.

Robock’s team calculated that those burning cities would loft enough ‘black carbon’ into the stratosphere to create a shroud of soot over the whole world within a few weeks.

t wouldn’t be the full-dress nuclear winter of superpower war, with ‘darkness at noon’. However, 300 nuclear explosions in the Indian subcontinent, most of them airbursts over cities, would dim the sun enough to drop temperatures and severely damage crop yields in the main food-producing regions of the planet.

The main effects would be a severe drop in the average global temperature and a comparable decline in global food production – with the worst-hit areas being in the Northern Hemisphere, north of latitude 30°N. (Almost all of India and Pakistan are south of that.)

It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the way the climate system works.

The most important ‘breadbaskets’ of the planet – grain-growing areas that produce a big crop surplus for export – are the United States, Canada and Europe (including European Russia) – and they are all just north of 30.

The dimming effects of an Indo-Pak nuclear war in 2025, say, would drop the average global temperature by 5 °C over all the continents, but in the key regions of North America and Europe it could reach 10 °C colder.

That maximum cooling would be reached in the fourth year after the war, and would gradually return to ‘normal’ by around year 15.

Australia, Brazil and Argentina, the Southern Hemisphere’s bread-baskets, might still be able to export some grain, but they would not be remotely capable of compensating for the huge shortfalls of food in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tens, maybe hundreds of millions would starve in the poorer parts of the north, and scrabbling for food in the cold and the dark would certainly take our minds off our longer-term problem: global heating.

But when the effects of the local nuclear war in the Indian subcontinent finally faded, it would be right back to that bigger climate crisis.

And it would be bigger, for carbon dioxide would not have stopped accumulating during the hungry years. Indeed, the world might find that it was returning not to the average global temperature of +1.3 °C that prevailed when the Indo-Pak war started, but to a climate that was now hovering on the brink of +2.0 °C. https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/opinion/300487679/nuclear-twilight-something-else-to-worry-about

December 30, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany, France, Britain, U.S. discuss Ukraine crisis, Iran nuclear talks

Germany, France, Britain, U.S. discuss Ukraine crisis, Iran nuclear talks https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germany-france-britain-us-discuss-ukraine-crisis-iran-nuclear-talks-2021-12-29/Reuters  BERLIN, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain and the United States discussed the situation at the Ukrainian border and upcoming dialogue formats with Russia, Germany’s foreign ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.

The four foreign ministers also discussed the latest round of international talks in Vienna about Iran’s nuclear program and how to show solidarity with Lithuania regarding China’s recent actions, the foreign ministry said.

December 30, 2021 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

White House: U.S. ready to use NATO’s Article 5 for war with Russia over Ukraine — Anti-bellum

US presidential adviser assures Poland of readiness to defend it in case of Russian aggression – White House Washington’s readiness to provide support to its NATO allies on the eastern flank using Article 5 of the NATO Charter amid Russia’s buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine was announced by President Joe Biden’s National […]

White House: U.S. ready to use NATO’s Article 5 for war with Russia over Ukraine — Anti-bellum

December 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Ukrainian invasion could go nuclear: 15 reactors would be in a war zone

A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: 15 Reactors Would Be In War Zone  https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2021/12/28/a-ukraine-invasion-will-go-nuclear-15-reactors-are-in-the-war-zone/?sh=1c9a8a0a27aa&fbclid=IwAR1k5sz1_5PLOb7Lg6qMjULu_lj0nqF-6SXx7NifPxr6uakDliSUlgyHFqI Craig HooperSenior Contributor
As Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border continues, few observers note that an invasion of Ukraine could put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict. The world is underestimating the risk that full-scale, no-holds-barred conventional warfare could spark a catastrophic reactor failure, causing an unprecedented regional nuclear emergency.

The threat is real. Ukraine is heavily dependent upon nuclear power, maintaining four nuclear power plants and stewardship of the shattered nuclear site at Chernobyl. In a major war, all 15 reactors at Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities would be at risk, but even a desultory Russian incursion into eastern Ukraine is likely to expose at least six active reactors to the uncertainty of a ground combat environment.

The world has little experience with reactors in a war zone. Since humanity first harnessed the atom, the world has only experienced two “major” accidents—Chernobyl and Japan’s Fukushima disaster. A Russian invasion, coupled with an extended conventional war throughout Ukraine, could generate multiple International Atomic Energy Agency “Level 7” accidents in a matter of days. Such a contingency would induce a massive refugee exodus and could render much of Ukraine uninhabitable for decades. 

Turning the Ukraine into a dystopian landscape, pockmarked by radioactive exclusion zones, would be an extreme method to obtain the defensive zone Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to want. Managing a massive Western-focused migratory crisis and environmental cleanup would absorb Europe for years. The work would distract European leaders and empower nativist governments that tend to be aligned with Russia’s baser interests, giving an overextended Russia breathing room as the country teeters on the brink of technological, demographic, and financial exhaustion. 

Put bluntly, the integrity of Ukrainian nuclear reactors is a strategic matter, critical for both NATO and non-NATO countries alike. Causing a severe radiological accident for strategic purposes is unacceptable. A deliberate aggravation of an emerging nuclear catastrophe—preventing mitigation measures or allowing reactors to deliberately melt down and potentially contaminate wide portions of Europe—would simply be nuclear warfare without bombs.  

Such a scenario can’t be ruled out. Russia has repeatedly used Ukraine to test out concepts for “Gray Zone” warfare, where an attacker dances just beyond the threshold of open conflict. Given Russia’s apparent interest in radiation-spewing nuclear-powered cruise missiles, robotic undersea bombs with a radiological fallout-oriented payload, destructive anti-satellite tests and other nihilistic, world-harming weapons, Russia’s ongoing dalliance with “Gray Zone” warfare in Ukraine may, for the rest of Europe, become a real matter of estimating radiological “grays,” or, in other words, estimating the amount of ionizing radiation absorbed by humans. 

When War Comes To Zaporizhzhia 

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is a particular risk. It is the second-largest nuclear power plant in Europe (essentially tied with a French reactor complex near Calais), and one of the 10 largest nuclear power plants in the world. The site has little protection, and the six VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors could easily be embroiled in any Russian invasion. 

If war comes, the fight will be close by. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located only 120 miles from the current “front line” in the Donbass region and is on the hard-to-defend east bank of the Dnieper River. Aside from the geographical hazards, the power plant provides about a quarter of Ukraine’s total electrical power. Given the importance of the electricity, plant managers will be reluctant to shut it down, securing the reactors only at the very last possible second. Ukraine’s desperate need for energy only compounds the opportunities for an accident. 

Outside of direct battle damage, cyber and other Russian-sourced “grey zone” mischief could make the plant unmanageable even before the battle arrives at the reactor gates. 

Though unlikely, direct bombardment could cause serious damage to reactor containment structures. While the reactor structures themselves are strong, warfare at the plant could kill key personnel and destroy command-and-control structures, monitoring sensors or critical reactor-cooling infrastructure. And, as an operating power plant, the reactors are not the only threat. Dangerous spent fuel rods are sitting in vulnerable cooling ponds, while older fuel sits in the site’s 167 dry spent fuel assemblies

If the reactors suffer any operational anomalies, crisis management is not going to happen. Support infrastructure needed for safe reactor management will collapse during conflict. Plant security forces will disappear, operators will flee, and, if an accident occurs, mitigating measures will be impossible. 

It seems unlikely that Russia has mobilized trained reactor operators and prepared reactor crisis-management teams to take over any “liberated” power plants. The heroic measures that kept the Chernobyl nuclear accident and Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster from becoming far more damaging events just will not happen in a war zone. 

Again, the risks are very high. The world has never dealt with an unmanaged meltdown at a large nuclear power plant. The very real prospect of an extended and unmitigated incident at a six-reactor powerplant in a war zone is worth urgent and immediate consultations throughout Europe and NATO.  

Gray Zone Nuclear Conflict Can Happen

The world has never experienced war that threatens active nuclear power infrastructure, and world leaders may be underestimating the peril conventional warfare presents to these powerful and perilous assets.

On the other hand, heedless purveyors of “gray zone” warfare may be underestimating the risk themselves, all too eager to determine just how degraded nuclear infrastructure might serve as a “less risky” surrogate for nuclear conflict.

To them, it’s not nuclear war, but just a series of unfortunate nuclear accidents.

December 28, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Japan-caught marine products not properly identified in South Korea

Japan is using South Korea and Taiwan desire to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-member trade pact that includes Japan and Australia, as a leverage to force them to lift their Fukushima contaminated food import ban.

Ascidians are caught off Yagawahama in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in April 2019. Sales of the seafood are being affected by an import ban by South Korea.

December 26, 2021

SEOUL — There were more than 200 incidents of Japan-caught fishery products being sold in South Korea without proper identification of their origin from January through November, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The total number of cases was 203, the highest such figure since the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and 1.5 times the previous record of 137 registered for the whole year of 2019. Damage from groundless rumors related to Japan-caught marine products appears to be widespread under the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The cases were identified by the National Fishery Products Quality Management Service, which is under the wing of the ministry.

The ministry has tightened its controls since the Japanese government decided in April on the planned discharge into the ocean of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. This has led to greater exposure of cases involving marine products whose place of origin is not properly identified.

Since the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima plant in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the South Korean government has continued to prohibit the import of marine products caught in eight prefectures of Japan, including Fukushima and Miyagi.

There is tendency in South Korea to avoid even Japanese fishery products caught outside those eight prefectures. This has led to the problem of sellers offering Japan-caught marine products without indicating they are from Japan, or claiming the products are from South Korea.

Harm from false rumors related to Japan’s fishery products seems to have spread further with the Japanese government’s decision to release treated radioactive water into the sea.

Experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and from the United States and South Korea, have judged that TEPCO’s planned release of the treated water is safe.

In a report released in April, the Korean Nuclear Society called on the South Korean government and the nation’s mass media to create appropriate policies and news reports concerning the discharge of treated water, based on scientific facts.

It also appealed to the public on the need for “civic awareness mature enough to determine truth from falsity amid a deluge of information.”

The South Korean government on Dec. 13 made clear its policy of applying to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-member trade pact that includes Japan and Australia.

Seoul’s lifting of import restrictions on fishery products is expected to be one of the focal issues amid the procedures for joining. The South Korean government is also likely to be urged to take steps to deal with the harm from groundless rumors, by conveying information domestically based on scientific assessments.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan will not import contaminated food products from Fukushima, Japan

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu affirms Taiwan’s high food safety standards

Simple: When asked whether importing food from Fukushima would guarantee Taiwan’s acceptance to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wu reiterated that in order to enter Taiwan, food must not be contaminated.

December 23, 2021

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) has emphasized that Taiwan will not import food products from Fukushima, Japan, that are contaminated.

In a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan on Thursday (Dec. 23), Wu said that Taiwan has strict food safety regulations and that no radiated food can be imported. The government will protect the health of Taiwanese and check food safety in accordance with international standards and scientific evidence, CNA cited him as saying.

When asked whether importing food from Fukushima would guarantee Taiwan’s acceptance to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wu reiterated that in order to enter Taiwan, food must not be contaminated. Taiwan has been in contact with Japan regarding the issue, the foreign minister said, but the matter has not been formally discussed and there is no timetable yet.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4386210?fbclid=IwAR1PYyDOrsN_u2AsLu1t4umoXyAAFWcdS9kNpD0L4IUgXwMFScj_khZABB8

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 Spent Fuel Removal Process

December 23, 2021

TEPCO has been progressing with the preparation work for the eventual removal of the spent fuel from unit 2 at Fukushima Daiichi. New details of the fuel removal process have also been released.

Spent fuel removal is scheduled to begin in 2024 and be completed by 2026. Further decontamination work inside is underway as is work outside the building to remove debris and prepare the ground for the spent fuel removal building. The control room on the refueling floor is slated for removal to make way for the opening between the refueling floor and the new spent fuel removal building to be constructed.

Decontamination work on the refueling floor is underway. Starting in January 2022 shielding materials will be installed on the refueling floor.

Shielding appears to be slated to go along certain walls and over the reactor well area. The existing spent fuel crane will be moved over the reactor well to make room for the new fuel handling crane.

Spent fuel removal building progress as of December 2021

The floorplan (below) shows a tall shielding system to be installed around the spent fuel pool area, isolating it from the reactor well. This will act as a shielded access hallway for workers to enter the area. The floorplan also shows the spent fuel removal building where it will be installed adjacent to the spent fuel pool.

The shielding locations are shown in green in the diagram (below).

Ground foundation work is underway near unit 2 for the spent fuel removal building. This work is being done with remote equipment due to the radiation levels between units 2 and 3. The levels are still considered too hazardous for human workers a decade after the initial disaster.

The original TEPCO report in Japanese can be found here.

All original images credit, TEPCO.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi’s radioactive water discharge pipe construction

December 22, 2021

TEPCO’s long-term plan to dump contaminated water into the Pacific has progressed closer to reality. Regulators have given initial approvals and with those, TEPCO has moved quickly to start this project.

Today TEPCO filed for official approval of the water discharge pipe construction.
In mid-December boring tests to examine the geologic status of the sea bed began. These were preceded by magnetic ground surveys. This work is needed to design and construct the discharge pipe TEPCO plans to use to dump contaminated water into the sea. TEPCO plans to have this discharge pipe completed by 2023.


TEPCO has insisted this water is safe and “clean” but admits it still contains some radioactive contamination. The plan has received plenty of criticism including local fishing and environmental groups, international environmental groups, and nearby countries who have all lodged formal complaints with the Japanese government.

Magnetic survey rig near the port of Fukushima Daiichi.
Geologic boring test rig pontoon in use outside the port at Fukushima Daiichi.
Location of discharge pipe at Fukushima Daiichi port
Diagram of the construction plan to dig the pipe route.
Location of the pipe route from land out to sea through the port area.

Some concerns about this siting exist. The port has been concreted over twice and had some other work done to attempt to reduce or isolate radioactive contamination that leaked into the port in the early years of the disaster. Digging through this to install the discharge pipe could resuspend these contaminants and fuel microparticles, releasing new environmental contamination to the sea.
Original TEPCO document in Japanese

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment