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Father continues to suffer in court over Fukushima nuclear accident: “I exposed my son to radiation.

Akihiro Suzuki addresses a briefing session of the plaintiffs’ lawyers after the courtroom closed at 3:20 p.m. on January 28, 2022 in Sapporo.

January 28, 2022
On January 28, the Sapporo High Court heard oral arguments in an appeal by evacuees from Fukushima and other prefectures who sought compensation of approximately 1.36 billion yen from the government and TEPCO in the wake of the 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plaintiffs, who are evacuees, gave statements and expressed their anguish that has not healed even 11 years after the accident.

 If it hadn’t been for the nuclear accident, my eldest son probably wouldn’t have gotten this disease.

 Akihiro Suzuki, 61, a current member of the Akahira City Council in Hokkaido, made this appeal in court. Akihiro Suzuki, 61, a current member of the Akahira City Council in Hokkaido, told the court that his eldest son, 26, was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma last March and is currently undergoing hospital treatment in Sapporo. I have been blaming myself every day for the impact on my health caused by the delay in evacuating, and I spend my days hoping that my eldest son will be released from his suffering and recover his health,” he said.

 According to Mr. Suzuki, at the time of the accident, he learned about the nuclear accident on the radio from his home in Fukushima City, where the power was out. He was most concerned about the health of his sons, who were in their second year of high school and eighth year of junior high school at the time.

 I thought about evacuating immediately, but gasoline was not available, so I was able to temporarily evacuate to Niigata about two weeks after the disaster. In September 2011, she and her second son evacuated to Hakodate, Hokkaido, where her eldest son had moved to school earlier.

 In 2004, they moved to Akabira City. Her eldest son found a job at an IT company in Osaka, and her second son started working at a directly managed farm of a food company in Hokkaido. 19 years later, she ran for the Akadaira City Council, hoping to “bring in some fresh air,” and was elected.

 Although he and his wife, who works at a high school in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, were not expected to live together, he began to think that they had achieved a soft landing in the face of the many hardships faced by evacuees. It was just then that my eldest son became ill.

 After the onset of his illness, he underwent anticancer drug treatment for six months and recovered to the point where he could be said to be in remission. However, in December, he found out that the disease had recurred. Seeing her eldest son suffer from hair loss and nausea due to the side effects of the medication “tore my heart to pieces,” she said.

 I have always thought that I exposed my sons to radiation while I was still in Fukushima City. He was reluctant to stand up in court, but decided to give his opinion, saying, “Eleven years have passed since the accident, and I don’t want the world to forget the voices of the evacuees.

 In an interview after the court session, Mr. Suzuki said, “Will I be stuck in the disaster of the nuclear accident forever? In a world where the memory of the accident is fading, I want people to understand that the accident is by no means over,” he said quietly.

 The majority of the plaintiffs who have appealed to the court are “voluntary evacuees” who were not subject to the government’s evacuation order. As a result, only a little less than 40% of the 253 plaintiffs were eligible to receive compensation, and the amount was only about 53 million yen. (Shigeto Nakazawa)


January 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

‘We have to stop believing the nuclear hype’ , former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other leaders

We have to stop believing the hype. Nuclear has never delivered on the hype, and to somehow hinge the future of the planet on unproven design is simply, I think, irresponsible, and we have to recognize that or we’re going to be throwing money at the technologies that are simply never going to deliver.

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair argues nuclear power isn’t a climate solution

‘We have to stop believing the hype’ The Verge, By Justine Calma@justcalma  Jan 27, 2022,   Former heads of nuclear regulatory bodies across Europe and the US put out a statement this week voicing their opposition to nuclear energy as a climate solution………..  Nuclear energy is still too costly and risky to be a viable clean energy source, the authors of the statement write. They include Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the former leads of similar agencies in Germany, France, and the UK.

To learn more about why some nuclear power experts oppose the energy source as a climate fix, The Verge spoke with Jaczko, who chaired the NRC from 2009 to 2012 and, since then, has been outspoken about his concerns.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The debate swirling around whether nuclear energy should play a role in climate action has been going on for years. What prompted you to issue a statement this week? Why now?

I think there’s been a lot of misinformation about the role that nuclear power can play in any climate strategy. A lot of attention has been put on nuclear as somehow the technology that’s going to solve a lot of problems when it comes to dealing with climate change. I just think that’s not true. And it’s taking the debate and discussion away from the areas that can have a role and that do need focus and attention.

I’ve certainly seen nuclear power making a lot of headlines recently. There was a leaked draft of European Commission plans to label nuclear power as a green investment. And here in the US, the infrastructure law is set to funnel billions into propping up nuclear energy. What goes through your head when you see this?

I think it’s money that’s not well spent. Nuclear has shown time and time again that it cannot deliver on promises about deployment and costs. And that’s really the most important factor when it comes to climate.

What I find kind of a little bit head-scratching is why, all of the sudden, this is getting attention when in fact, what’s actually happening is really, really negative for nuclear. You’re seeing nuclear power plants that, when I was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, were supposed to be coming online — those plants have not come online all across the world. There are some new plants that have come online at a much later time. Then you have the complete fiasco that is the new build of nuclear reactors in the United States. You had four new design reactors that were licensed when I was chairman, which were supposed to be starting production in 2016 and 2017.

Two of those reactors were canceled, and that involved federal indictments for fraud among the heads of the company running that reactor development. Then the other two reactors are in Georgia, and those reactors continue to be pushed back and now are scheduled to start in 2022 or 2023. And they’re looking at a price tag that’s over $30 billion, which is more than double the initial estimate for the cost of that reactor………………

What should be done about older reactors? Some experts argue that premature nuclear plant closures lead to natural gas and coal plants filling in the gaps

We have to get the facts right. And the premise of your question is not true. There’s no such thing as a direct one-to-one replacement, first of all.

Renewables and the amount of renewables that are in the pipeline far exceed any one closure of a nuclear power plant in the US. So nuclear is simply not being replaced by fossil fuels. We’re still seeing natural gas play too large of a role in our electricity sector. That is an issue by itself that has nothing to do with whether nuclear power plants shut down or not. So this is where I say so much of this discussion around nuclear focuses on the wrong thing. The right thing we need to focus on is what are we doing to get rid of gas?

What are your concerns with next-generation nuclear reactors, given that they’re very different than the older technology that we have?

It simply comes down to the need. I do not see a place in which these reactors will play a role because they do not meet the demands of the electricity space right now.

We have to stop believing the hype. Nuclear has never delivered on the hype, and to somehow hinge the future of the planet on unproven design is simply, I think, irresponsible, and we have to recognize that or we’re going to be throwing money at the technologies that are simply never going to deliver.

……….  . None of these designs are going to be ready for deployment, even as a prototype, for 2030. You need by 2030 the decarbonization of the electricity sector, not getting some brand new technology is going to build its first at the time and then you’re going to have to wait another five to 15 years before you can deploy that technology at scale. We have to deploy at scale today. And it’s simply not going to come from these advanced reactor designs.

Your statement says that nuclear energy as a climate strategy is “[m]ilitarily hazardous since newly promoted reactor designs increase the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.” Can you explain?

The simplest way to think about it is the difference between a nuclear weapons program and a nuclear power program is really intent. So much of the technology that is used for nuclear power production can be used to make the material that you need for nuclear weapons. For a long time, one of the promises of advanced reactors was that they would somehow be more resistant to proliferation concerns, namely that they would be harder to make that transition from strictly a power production technology to a technology that could be used for weapons production. And as technologies have developed, those issues have not really panned out again in the way that many different reactor designs were touted. So it will always be there as a concern.

And there are some interesting new players stepping into the arena — private companies looking into small modular reactors for their own operations. I think the latest I’ve seen is Rolls Royce. What do you make of that trend?

I think it comes back to the same issues, which is I am skeptical that that will ever materialize because you don’t generate electricity at prices that are well above market rates just to prove a point.

Rolls Royce is looking to develop their own design for small modular reactors. You know, I think it still suffers from the same problem, which is that those designs don’t meet the needs of the electricity market — namely price, deployment, operational flexibility, and they have the potential hazards for accidents, although small modular reactors have a lower consequence than certainly a large reactor. There’s nothing about the benefits that outweighs any of those  risks. 

January 29, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia proposes US returns American nuclear weapons from NATO countries close to Russia

Russia proposes US returns American nuclear weapons from NATO countries stateside
According to Vladimir Yermakov, “currently there are about 200 American nuclear air bombs of the B61 family” in five non-nuclear NATO countries

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Moscow proposed to Washington to return all American nuclear weapons from NATO countries to US territory in the context of reviewing security guarantees, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said in an interview with TASS.

“We insist that NATO’s ‘joint nuclear missions’ should be stopped immediately, all the American nuclear weapons be returned to US national territory and the infrastructure that allows their rapid deployment should be eliminated. This aspect is one of the elements of the package of measures proposed by us to Washington in the context of considering the issues of security guarantees,” he said.

According to the diplomat, “currently there are about 200 American nuclear air bombs of the B61 family” in five non-nuclear NATO countries. Thus, the alliance is capable of rapidly deploying nuclear weapons able to reach strategic targets on Russian territory. “[NATO countries] also retain the infrastructure ensuring rapid deployment of these [nuclear] weapons capable of reaching Russian territory and striking a wide range of targets, including strategic ones,” he pointed out.

At the same time, NATO engages non-nuclear countries in training for using American nuclear weapons against Russia. “Interaction between NATO member countries in joint nuclear planning is underway. NATO ‘joint nuclear missions’ take place with non-nuclear alliance members involved in training on the use of American nuclear weapons against us,” the diplomat stressed.

He noted that the US is modernizing its nuclear arsenal with a view of the increased applicability of such weapons in real conditions, above all, in Europe. “As for modernization, the US is consistently implementing a campaign on the renovation of practically all the components of the nuclear arsenal. The B61 air bombs in their newest B61-12 modification will have a decreased or variable yield but increased precision. This raises the question, which containment scenarios justify such ‘calibration?’ This clearly means betting on a ‘higher applicability’ of such weapons under real conditions, first of all, in Europe,” the diplomat stated.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Moscow and Washington on security guarantees and the measures of ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states. The proposed measures include guarantees that NATO will not advance eastward, including the accession of Ukraine and other countries into the alliance, as well as the non-deployment of serious offensive weapons, including nuclear ones. On January 26, the US and NATO submitted to Russia their written response to Moscow’s proposal on security guarantees.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near borders of the Russia-Belarus Union

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near Union State borders — Belarus’ security chief

A breach of international norms and elementary rules of good neighborly relations by neighboring countries is already turning into an alarming trend, Alexander Volfovich stated

MINSK, January 28. /TASS/. The NATO Air Force is practicing sorties with cruise missiles, including with nuclear warheads, near the borders of the Russia-Belarus Union State, State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Alexander Volfovich said on Friday.

“The head of state drew attention to intensified flights by US strategic bombers near the borders of the Union State,” the BelTA news agency quoted Volfovich as saying.

“In our assessments, this means that the NATO Air Force is practicing employing cruise missiles, including those with nuclear warheads,” he said……………..

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Swedish government allows the nuclear industry to build an unsafe repository for spent nuclear fuel

The method of disposal with copper canisters has received extensive criticism from eminent independent corrosion expertise. 28 Jan 22, The Swedish government’s decision to say yes to repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark is both regrettable and irresponsible. This is the opinion of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG). The government has made its decision without the nuclear industry having shown that the copper canisters that are to guarantee safety for at least 100,000 years will work as intended.

– The government has today made a historic decision and I am afraid that they have made a historic mistake. It is directly irresponsible of the government to say yes to the repository for spent nuclear fuel. The method of disposal with copper canisters has received extensive criticism from eminent independent corrosion expertise. The nuclear waste can cause significant environmental damage in the Forsmark area ¬ perhaps already after a few hundred years, says Johanna Sandahl, chair of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

The government has chosen to say yes to the spent fuel repository, despite the fact that during the government review additional knowledge has emerged that copper does not function as canister material. The copper canisters are to guarantee safety for humans and the environment for over 100 000 years. Independent corrosion researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) have repeatedly warned that there is a risk that the canisters will break down – already after a few hundred years.
If the canisters break down and the extremely hazardous nuclear waste leaks out, it will contaminate the groundwater and the entire ecosystem. The marine environment is also affected. If this happens, a large area must be cordoned off as a zone with no access for a very long time and no one may eat or drink anything from the area.

The Government considers that it is sufficient that the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has said that the final repository can be sufficiently safe even if the copper canisters do not function as they should, thanks to the other barriers of rock and bentonite clay. The government has thus disregarded the fact that the Land and Environment Court clearly distanced itself from that view. The court held that the government must ensure that the copper canisters can really last for the long timespans involved.
Both the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste, the government’s scientific advisory board on nuclear waste issues, and the researchers from KTH have stated that more research is needed in the repository environment to ensure that the canisters will work as intended.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and MKG believe that the government’s decision both ignored the strong scientific warning signals and the need for more copper research. As science continues to work independently of political decisions, the associations believe that it is likely that the project will still be stopped in the future. The risk that the money needed to build a repository will be wasted on the wrong technology is evident.

– The government has decided to approve a repository that will not work, says Johan Swahn, director of MKG. Thus, money and time risks being wasted in the construction of a repository that must then be discarded.

Johan Swahn, Director, MKG Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review,

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste storage in New Mexico would be blocked if Senate, House bill pass Legislature

Nuclear waste storage in New Mexico would be blocked if Senate, House bill pass Legislature, Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus    27 Jan 22, High-level spent nuclear fuel would be prohibited from being stored in New Mexico if lawmakers pass a pair of bills introduced during this year’s legislative session.

The bicameral effort comes as Holtec International proposed to build and operate a facility in southeast New Mexico to temporarily hold spent nuclear fuel rods from generator sites across the U.S.

Sponsored by New Mexico Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-36), a frequent critic of the Holtec project, Senate Bill 54 would prohibit the kind of waste Holtec planned to store in New Mexico. It’s twin bill, House Bill 127, was sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-50).

The state does have a facility for low-level waste. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy in the same region and permitted by the State of New Mexico

The Holtec site recently received approval from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which recommended Holtec be issued a license to build the facility and a final decision was expected this year. 

Holtec would hold up to 100,000 metric tons of the waste in total on an interim basis until a permanent repository was available.

The U.S. does not presently have a permanent repository for the waste after such a project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada stalled amid opposition from leaders in that state.

In New Mexico, high-ranking state officials voiced their own opposition to the proposal with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham calling the project “economic malpractice” as she worried it could risk nearby oil and gas and agriculture industries in the region.

Last year, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit against the NRC arguing its license recommendation ignored the environmental and safety impacts the site could have if built and operated.

SB 54 was awaiting a hearing in the Senate Conservation Committee, while HB 127 was to be considered in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Both bills added language to New Mexico’s Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act that “no one” will store high-level waste or spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico, adding to a clause that already required state consent before such a facility could be built.

The bill would also amend requirements of the state’s Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force to include private nuclear facilities like Holtec’s in its purview for analysis and require the committee meet at least annually.

“No person shall store or dispose of radioactive materials or radioactive waste (or spent fuel) in a disposal facility until the state has concurred in the creation of the disposal facility, except as specifically preempted by federal law; provided that spent fuel and high-level waste shall not be stored or disposed of in the state; and provided further that the state or a political subdivision of the state shall not issue or certify a permit for the construction or operation of a disposal facility for spent fuel or high-level waste,” read the language of the bills.

Local leaders in southeast New Mexico opposed the bill, believing the Holtec project was a safe way to diversify the region’s economy and insulate it from future up and downswings in the oil and gas markets.

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway, Eddy County Commission Chairman Steven McCutcheon, along with Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb and Lea County Commissioner Jonathan Sena signed letters to Lujan Grisham opposing each bill and asking that she not sign them into law if passed.

The cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs and Eddy and Lea counties formed the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance which sited the project and recruited Holtec……………….

January 29, 2022 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear radiation has had strange effects on plants and trees

Fukushima Radiation Made Japanese Fir Trees Go Haywire After Nuclear Disaster Newsweek, BY ORLANDO JENKINSON ON 1/27/22 Plants in Fukushima are growing in abnormal ways because of the radiation left over from the 2011 nuclear accident, a study suggests.

In a study published on January 15 in the journal Plants, scientists described changes to the structure of plants and trees in areas close to where a partial meltdown occurred at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) after an earthquake caused a tsunami that overwhelmed the plant’s cooling systems.

…………..  To come to their conclusion, researchers examined the whorls—the places on plants where foliage like leaves, petals or needles spread out from a central point.

Instead of branching out in the expected way, the whorls showed irregular growths and even elimination of some shoots in ways not seen on trees that avoided radiation.

What is more, the number of strange mutations like this corresponded with the amount of radiation the trees were hit with. Researchers said that the rate of mutations was “directly proportional to the dose of ionizing radiation to which the conifers had been exposed.”

The authors of the paper said that another abnormality they found was the “deletion” of shoots of Japanese fir and red pine trees. This happened most often after the spring of 2012, and peaked in 2013, though precisely why remains a mystery.

The paper consequently offered further evidence that ionizing radiation like that produced by nuclear accidents can alter the structure of conifer trees.

The authors noted that the abnormalities they uncovered were like those found on Scots Pine trees in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the 18.6-mile radius surrounding the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union in 1986.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | environment, Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

”All options on the table” to punish Moscow -could bring about a nuclear conflict.

Repeated assertions that “all options are on the table” to punish Moscow should it reinvade Ukraine are seen as particularly troubling.

“In the nuclear age, ‘all options on the table’ in a conflict involving nuclear powers could be understood to mean the potential use of nuclear weapons, even if that wasn’t the intention in this instance,

Nuclear fears mount as Ukraine crisis deepens,

Officials and experts are warning that a Russian invasion could inadvertently trigger a nuclear exchange with the U.S. Politico  By BRYAN BENDER, 01/27/2022
,    As Russian troops bear down on Ukraine and the United States prepares its own military buildup in Eastern Europe, concerns are growing across the ideological spectrum that the standoff could inadvertently escalate into the unthinkable: nuclear war.

President Joe Biden has insisted that he will not use American forces to directly defend Ukrainian territory against a possible Russian invasion. But that is no guarantee that the two sides won’t come to blows.

The world’s two largest nuclear powers could even stumble into nuclear confrontation if the situation spins out of control, current and former officials and experts on both sides of the Atlantic worry.

“At the point you unleash war in the modern environment, the one thing that is certain is the law of unintended consequences,” Des Browne, a member of the British Parliament and a former secretary of state for defense, told POLITICO. “If you are talking about a nuclear-armed environment, which is already fragile … then you are living in an environment [where] things could escalate quite quickly, by accident or miscalculation.”

“Nobody thinks any of these weapons are going to be used deliberately, but miscalculation is a significant chance,” added Browne, who chairs the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group.

It’s a concern shared by current and former nuclear security officials who usually don’t agree on much — from disarmament advocates to nuclear hawks.

“I think the Ukraine conflict is demonstrating that the nuclear escalation scenario we’re worried about is not out of sight,” said Patty-Jane Geller, an expert on nuclear strategy at the hawkish Heritage Foundation.

Last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cited the Ukraine conflict as contributing to its decision to keep the “Doomsday Clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, an indication of how close it assesses that the human race is to potential self-annihilation.

“Ukraine remains a potential flashpoint, and Russian troop deployments to the Ukrainian border heighten day-to-day tension,” it noted in citing the threat of a nuclear conflict.

A primary concern, according to Geller and others, is Russia’s arsenal of thousands of battlefield nuclear weapons, which are central to its military strategy.

“The Russians have something like 4,000 [tactical nuclear weapons] and they have an ‘escalate to win’ nuclear doctrine, which says ‘we use nuclear weapons first if the conventional conflict starts to spin out of our favor,’” said a former senior GOP government official who still works on nuclear security issues.

One Russian diplomat last month went so far as to publicly threaten the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the crisis.

The weapons have a lower “yield” than traditional atomic bombs and are designed to be used against conventional forces in battle. But they still have enormous explosive power and are considered particularly destabilizing to deterrent strategy.

The United States has reportedly been flying dedicated spy missions over in recent weeks to determine if Russia has deployed any of its tactical nuclear weapons along the border with Ukraine.

There’s also concern among Russian nuclear experts about the potential that the Ukraine crisis could escalate, according to former U.S. Ambassador Richard Burt, who negotiated arms control treaties with the Soviet Union…………

The situation is exacerbated by the growing number of U.S., NATO, and Russian military forces in close proximity, Burt said.

“One thing I think is useful to remember is people are not just putting their forces on alert in and around Ukraine, but you’ve got nuclear-capable naval forces in the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean,” he said. “In the Baltic Sea there also has been an intensification of activity as well. You have a lot more aircraft flying overflights.”………….

Others have taken issue with American rhetoric that they see as sowing unnecessary confusion about what military options might be under consideration to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Repeated assertions that “all options are on the table” to punish Moscow should it reinvade Ukraine are seen as particularly troubling.

“In the nuclear age, ‘all options on the table’ in a conflict involving nuclear powers could be understood to mean the potential use of nuclear weapons, even if that wasn’t the intention in this instance,” two leading arms control advocates wrote last week.…..

January 29, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon.

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon

By Georgina Rannard, BBC News, 28 Jan 22,   A rocket launched by Elon Musk’s space exploration company is on course to crash into the Moon and explode.

The Falcon 9 booster was launched in 2015 but after completing its mission, it did not have enough fuel to return towards Earth and instead remained in space.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell told BBC News it will be the first known uncontrolled rocket collision with the Moon……..

It was part of Mr Musk’s space exploration programme SpaceX, a commercial company that ultimately aims to get humans living on other planets.

Since 2015 the rocket has been pulled by different gravitational forces of the Earth, Moon and Sun, making its path somewhat “chaotic”, explains Prof McDowell from the US-based Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

“It’s been dead – just following the laws of gravity.”

It’s joined millions of other pieces of space junk – machinery discarded in space after completing missions without enough energy to return to Earth.

“Over the decades there have been maybe 50 large objects that we’ve totally lost track of. This may have happened a bunch of times before, we just didn’t notice. This would be the first confirmed case,” Prof McDowell says………………….

January 29, 2022 Posted by | USA | Leave a comment

370,000 tonnes of highly radioactive, spent nuclear fuel in temporarystorage around the globe.

 Sweden’s government gave the go-ahead on Thursday for the building of a
storage facility to keep the country’s spent nuclear fuel safe for the next
100,000 years.

What to do with nuclear waste has been a major headache
since the world’s first nuclear plants came on line in the 1950s and 1960s.
The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that there is around
370,000 tonnes of highly radioactive, spent nuclear fuel in temporary
storage around the globe.

 Nasdaq 27th Jan 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD | Leave a comment

Scientists say no to Solar Geoengineering

Scientists say no to Solar Geoengineering

More than 60 senior climate scientists and governance scholars from around the world have launched a global initiative calling for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear-Testing ‘Downwinders’ Speak about History and Fear

Nuclear-Testing ‘Downwinders’ Speak about History and Fear. An archival project aims to document the experiences of people who suffered from U.S. nuclear weapons testing, Scientific American , By Sarah Scoles on January 27, 2022  When Sandra Evans Walsh was growing up in Parowan, Utah, her class would sometimes trek outside to a row of trees. They were about to watch history in the making, the teacher would tell them. The kids would then stare as an orange shroud spread across the sky. “I remember the clouds coming over our town and writing our names in the dust,” she said in an interview with Justin Sorensen, a geographical information systems (GIS) specialist at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library.

That dust had traveled around 200 miles, all the way from what is now called the Nevada National Security Site, where scientists once tested nuclear weapons.   Between 1945 and 1962, U.S. researchers detonated around 200 bombs aboveground—100 of them in Nevada. Fallout from the nuclear tests—radioactive particles that were swept into the atmosphere and fell back down to the earth—found their way into crops and livestock, whose radioactivity humans took on when they consumed milk, meat and produce. Fallout takes many different chemical forms, one of which is iodine-131: an isotope, or version, of iodine that has the usual 53 protons but 78 neutrons instead of the standard 74. Inside the body, the thyroid gland will absorb iodine-131, which eventually decays to produce radiation that can cause thyroid cancer and other problems.

People, such as Walsh, who lived “downwind” of nuclear development and open-air explosions are now called “downwinders.” Mary Dickson, another downwinder, told Sorensen and one of his colleagues that she thought the attitude toward those in Utah who were affected by nuclear testing was, “you know, ‘They were Mormons and cowboys and Indians—who cares?’ In general, she added, “they test where they think there are populations that don’t matter.”

Sorensen and his team spoke to both women and dozens of other people for a project called the Downwinders of Utah Archive. Hosted by the J. Willard Marriott Library, the archive is an attempt to qualify, quantify and make accessible people’s experiences of, and effects from, the American legacy of nuclear weapons testing. In 2011 the Senate unanimously designated January 27 as the National Day of Remembrance for Downwinders. “The downwinders paid a high price for the development of a nuclear weapons program for the benefit of the United States,” stated the resolution establishing the designation.

But when the tests were conducted, no one had done the research necessary to truly calculate what that price would be. Wanting to understand the potential link between regional health issues and fallout from nuclear tests, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) undertook a study on Americans exposed to iodine-131 from the Nevada tests. The results were released in 1997 in a report entitled “Estimated Exposures and Thyroid Doses Received by the American People from Iodine-131 in Fallout following Nevada Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Tests.” It was this document that first led Sorensen to the archival project.   “We were just kind of wondering, originally, ‘What does this data look like if you put it on a map?’” he says, “because a spreadsheet doesn’t really tell you a lot.” Sorensen’s background is in GIS and cartography, so he took the NCI’s fallout data and overlaid them onto his home state. “It just really grew from there,” he says. “We started seeing there’s a story to be told.”……………………..

Although no single illness can be conclusively tied to a test-site cause, investigations by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, among others, have established links between radiation exposure and cancer occurrence. In the early 2000s a report by NCI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that fallout could have led to around 11,000 excess deaths. The NCI has also created a calculator that allows users to calculate their thyroid dose and risk of developing thyroid cancer from fallout.   “We can’t know any individual’s cancer was caused by radioactivity,” explains Scott Williams, former executive director of HEAL Utah, a nonprofit advocacy group focused on the environment and public health, “but we do know that some people’s cancer risk was increased by radioactivity.”

Since 1990 the federal government has offered some recompense to downwinders and others affected by nuclear testing through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Set to expire this summer unless a bill is passed to renew (and expand) it, RECA pays downwinders, test participants and uranium workers between $50,000 and $100,000—if they have specific ailments and can prove (with decades-old evidence that is sometimes hard to come by) they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. “We left a burden on unwitting citizens across the country without ever informing them,” Williams says. “We need to do the honorable thing and own the problem and not create these problems again.”

The Downwinders of Utah Archive is always expanding, and though Sorensen paused interviews during the pandemic, he plans to light the fuse again soon. He also hopes to expand the project to other Western states to preserve their history, too.

Making sure that information remains accessible is part of the point of the Downwinders of Utah Archive. The day of remembrance is, in its own way, an isotope of that openness. “Those kind of markers are really important…,” Dickson told Sorensen and his colleague. “Otherwise, you know, time marches on, and it’s like dipping a big spoon in the water. The rest of the water just fills in, and it’s like it was never there.”

This reporting was supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | health, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear negotiations reaching final stage

Iran nuclear talks reaching final stage – E3 negotiators   LONDON, Jan 28, 22 (Reuters) – Nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers are reaching their final stage and now require political input, E3 negotiators said in a statement on Friday.

Iran nuclear talks reaching final stage – E3 negotiators   LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers are reaching their final stage and now require political input, E3 negotiators said in a statement on Friday.

aJnuary has been the most intensive period of these talks to date,” said the statement from the so-called E3: France, Britain and Germany.

“Everyone knows we are reaching the final stage, which requires political decisions. Negotiators are therefore returning to capitals for consultation.”

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

NB Power and New Brunswick government gamble on untested, non existent ”small” nuclear reactors (SMRs)

While the world is turning overwhelmingly toward renewable sources of
energy, currently about four times cheaper than new nuclear plants and with
an established track record, NB Power and the New Brunswick government
insist on gambling on two new unproven nuclear plants, misleadingly termed
“small modular nuclear reactors” (SMNRs or SMRs).

SMRs do not exist at all in Canada except on paper or as computerized plans. There is no
guarantee these new untested reactors will ever succeed in producing
electricity in Canada in a safe and affordable manner.

But public utilities across the country are being pressured to generate power without emitting
greenhouse gases during operation. Instead of investing big bucks in
negawatts (energy efficiency) or renewables, four provinces are promoting
new nuclear plants – SMRs – as their best strategy for combatting
climate change. Since these plants are not likely to materialize for more
than a decade, if ever, the nuclear strategy is another way of “kicking
the can down the road.”

 NB Media Co-op 27th Jan 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

The escalating costs of decommissioning UK’s nuclear reactors pose a warning about new nuclear reactors.

The history of the AGR fleet provides lessons for other long-term programmes carrying significant end‑of‑life liabilities, including new nuclear energy programmes.

The government has entered into new arrangements to decommission seven AGR
nuclear power stations. While the arrangements could deliver savings, their
success will ultimately depend on the relevant parties working
collaboratively to overcome risks, according to the National Audit Office

The Nuclear Liabilities Fund (the Fund) was established to meet the
costs of decommissioning these eight stations, but significant additional
taxpayer support has been required with more likely to be necessary.

The UK government has provided a guarantee to underwrite the Fund in the event
that its assets are insufficient to meet the total costs of
decommissioning. In 2020, government contributed £5.1 billion to
strengthen the Fund’s position and the Fund has recently requested a
further £5.6 billion.

The Fund’s assets were valued at £14.8 billion at
the end of March 2021. The aim is that growth in the Fund’s investments
will be sufficient to meet the long-term costs of decommissioning (£23.5

However, cost estimates have doubled in real terms since 2004-05.
If this upward trend is maintained and investment growth is not sufficient,
there is a risk that the taxpayer will have to make further contributions.

In June 2021, the AGR stations’ owner EDF Energy (EDFE) agreed to defuel
each of the stations in an arrangement that the Department for Business
Energy & Industrial Strategy (the Department) estimates could save the
taxpayer around £1 billion. Once defueling is completed, ownership of the
stations will transfer to the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority (NDA) for its subsidiary Magnox Ltd to complete the rest of the
decommissioning process, which is likely to take several decades.

Initial ambitions that the existence of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund would help
eliminate taxpayers’ exposure are being tested, with rapid increases in
the estimates of decommissioning costs outstripping investment returns. The
history of the AGR fleet provides lessons for other long-term programmes
carrying significant end‑of‑life liabilities, including new nuclear
energy programmes.

 National Audit Office 28th Jan 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment