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Ukraine War Hangs Over UN Meeting on Nuclear Treaty’s Legacy

VOA UNITED NATIONS 31 July 22, — 

There was already plenty of trouble to talk about when a major U.N. meeting on the landmark Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was originally supposed to happen in 2020.

Now the pandemic-postponed conference finally starts Monday as Russia’s war in Ukraine has reanimated fears of nuclear confrontation and cranked up the urgency of trying to reinforce the 50-year-old treaty.

“It is a very, very difficult moment,” said Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Russia’s invasion, accompanied by ominous references to its nuclear arsenal, “is so significant for the treaty and really going to put a lot of pressure on this,” she said. “How governments react to the situation is going to shape future nuclear policy.”

The four-week meeting aims to generate a consensus on the next steps, but expectations are low for a substantial — if any — agreement……………………………

The events in Ukraine create a tricky choice for the upcoming conference, said Patricia Lewis, a former U.N. disarmament research official who is now at the international affairs think tank Chatham House in London.

“On the one hand, in order to support the treaty and what it stands for, governments will have to address Russia’s behavior and threats,” she said. “On the other hand, to do so risks dividing the treaty members.”

Another uncomfortable dynamic: The war has heightened some countries’ apprehensions about not having nuclear weapons, especially since Ukraine once housed but gave up a trove of Soviet nukes.

Ukraine is hardly the only hot topic.

North Korea appears to have been preparing recently for its first nuclear weapons test since 2017. And talks about reviving the deal meant to keep Iran from developing nukes are in limbo.

The U.S. and Russia have only one remaining treaty curtailing their nuclear weapons and have been developing new technologies. Britain last year raised a self-imposed cap on its stockpile. China says it’s modernizing — or, the U.S. claims, expanding — the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal……………..

In recent years, frustration with the Nonproliferation Treaty catalyzed another pact that outright prohibits nuclear weapons. Ratified by more than 60 countries, it took effect last year, though without any nuclear-armed nations on board.

At a recent meeting in Vienna, participating countries condemned “any and all nuclear threats” and inked a lengthy plan that includes considering an international trust fund for people harmed by nuclear weapons.

Fihn, whose Geneva-based group campaigned for the nuclear ban treaty, hopes the vigor in Vienna serves as inspiration — or notice — for countries to make progress at the U.N. conference.

“If you don’t do it here,” she said, “we’re moving on without you elsewhere.” https://www.voanews.com/a/ukraine-war-hangs-over-un-meeting-on-nuclear-treaty-legacy/6681249.html

July 31, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Grief for the abuse of nature that will come with Sizewell C nuclear station

 

East Anglia – already in drought and water scarcity, and climate change bringing heat waves – and they want to inflict more water-guzzling nuclear power upon this fragile environment

It’s hard not to be a nimby when nuclear meets nature. The margins of
our village lanes are thick with yellow leaves. It looks autumnal, but
they’ve changed colour and fallen due to heat stress. The fields are
tinder-dry; crop fires have sprung up here and there, some sparked by chaff
from combine harvesters hitting power lines, some thought to have been
started by the sun glancing off glass bottles left as litter.

In my garden the sparrows are no longer busy and voluble but sit out each day’s heat
in the privet, tiny beaks agape.

East Anglia gets little rain; the region
includes some of the driest places in the UK. Even so, aerial images
comparing now with last July are shocking — only the larger forests and
the damper creases of the watercourses still appearing green.

When I went to our local river for a cooling paddle, the water didn’t even reach my
knees. I drove to the coast. Suffolk’s seasides can be busy, but the long
dog-friendly beach south of the fishing hamlet of Sizewell is largely
overlooked by tourists and is a great place to swim. Kwasi Kwarteng, the
business secretary, had just given the proposed new nuclear power station
the go-ahead, and, bobbing in the waves, I gazed at the existing site’s
faraway blocks and sphere and tried to come to terms with what’s likely
to happen to this lovely stretch of coast — not to mention the Minsmere
nature reserve and all the sleepy villages, nightingale-filled woods and
family farms that the long building process will irrevocably change.

My grief for the countryside here is acute. I wish there were other options
than Sizewell on the table. You might say that’s nimbyism, but without
people willing to protect their home patches even more of our precious
landscapes, habitats and creatures will disappear — and that’s not just
a loss to locals, it’s a loss to all of us.

 Times 29th July 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/its-hard-not-to-be-a-nimby-when-nuclear-meets-nature-sd2wgdt9b

July 31, 2022 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Fabrication plant – a detailed history of troubles.

Dead fish near SC nuclear fuel site were an early warning. Then came the spills and accidents, The State, BY SAMMY FRETWELL, JULY 30, 2022 

“……………………………………………………. 1980: State regulators learn of a fish kill near the Westinghouse wastewater plant. They found elevated levels of fluoride and ammonia-nitrogen in groundwater and surface water. It was later determined that the pollution came from the plant wastewater area. 1980: Twenty plant workers evacuated from Westinghouse after a small leak of uranium hexafluoride gas.

1982: Westinghouse unable to find 9.5 pounds of slightly enriched uranium, according to an NRC report. 1983: State regulators fine Westinghouse $6,000 for illegally shipping flammable material that caused a fire at Barnwell County’s low-level nuclear waste dump. 1988: Radioactivity found in monitoring wells is thought to have come from prior leaks of industrial wastewater. Low concentrations of Uranium 235, 234 and 238 found.

1989: EPA investigators find an array of pollutants in groundwater at the Westinghouse site, some higher than safe drinking water levels. Vinyl Chloride and TCE, both of which can cause cancer, were found to exceed the drinking water standard. 1989: Twenty five dead deer discovered at the Westinghouse property, some of them in an area where wastewater was being discharged near the Congaree River. The deer reportedly died from nitrate poisoning, but public records reviewed by The State do not show an exact cause. 1992: Trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (CIS 1,2 DCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE), are detected at amounts above the federal maximum contaminant level for safe drinking water. The high levels were found near the plant’s oil house.

1993: NRC fines Westinghouse $18,750 after alleging that the company failed to perform a criticality safety analysis and failed to conduct safety tests. 1994: Radioactive leak exposes 55 workers to uranium hexafluoride and shuts down the Westinghouse plant. 1997: The plant loses two low-enriched fuel rods. The NRC says five violations of NRC requirements occurred. Safety was not compromised, but problems “are indicative of inadequate management attention.’’

1998: Company fined $13,750 after NRC notes the “loss of criticality control,’’ a problem that could have led to an accident. The agency says a problem had gone uncorrected. 2000: NRC hits Westinghouse with a violation notice because an operator “willfully violated criticality safety procedures when preparing to mix a batch of powder.’’ 2000: Uranyl nitrate spills at the Westinghouse plant, causing a cleanup. When the cleanup began, workers found the spill was worse than originally thought.

2001: NRC hits Westinghouse with a violation for transporting 3 cylinders of licensed material with elevated radiation levels. 2001: Westinghouse fails to follow criticality safety rules at a uranium recovery area dissolver elevator, violation notice says. Containers were not stacked far enough apart, reducing safety. Westinghouse didn’t do enough to fix the problem. 2001: NRC issues a violation notice to Westinghouse after raising concerns about criticality safety, including failing to keep uranium powder mixing hoods properly separated.

2001: NRC hits Westinghouse with violation after criticality safety controls failed to work on the ammonium diurnate process lines. 2002: NRC letter tells Westinghouse that its criticality safety control efforts need improvement. NRC Regional Administrator Luis Reyes says the last two safety reviews have urged improvement for criticality safety. Letter notes concern about nuclear transportation program. 2002: NRC notice of investigation says a contractor for Westinghouse falsified records about the receipt and processing of materials. That resulted in a small amount of nuclear material being improperly shipped to nuclear site in Tennessee. 2004: NRC again raises concerns about criticality safety, the practice of making sure a nuclear chain reaction does not occur. Efforts to improve compliance with procedures and “implement criticality safety controls were not fully effective,’’ letter from regional administrator Luis Reyes says.

2004: NRC letter hits Westinghouse with a $24,000 fine. The company failed to maintain criticality controls as required. Ash in the company’s incinerator exceeded concentration limits for uranium. The Level 2 violation is, at the time, the most serious ever noted at the plant. 2008: Broken pipe spills radioactive material into the soil in the same area as a later 2011 leak, but Westinghouse doesn’t tell state or federal regulators for years. 2008: The NRC sanctions Westinghouse for losing sixteen sample vials of uranium hexafluoride. The company didn’t properly document and control the transfer of the vials and failed to secure them from “unauthorized removal.’’ 2008: Westinghouse hit with a violation notice after a worker disabled an alarm and bypassed a safety significant interlock.

2009: Westinghouse fires a contract foreman after federal regulators found that he had falsified records. Westinghouse also was cited by the NRC. The foreman certified that employees were trained in safety procedures, when they had not completed training.

2009: Westinghouse loses 25 pounds of pellets that were to be used in making nuclear fuel rods. NRC downplays danger but says Westinghouse should have kept better track of the nuclear material.

2010: NRC levies $17,500 fine against Westinghouse after uranium-bearing wastewater spilled inside the plant.

2011: Uranium leaks into ground beneath the Westinghouse plant, but federal inspectors weren’t told about it for years. NRC officials said they only learned about the spill in 2017.

2012: Worker exposed to uranium-containing acid and whisked to a hospital by emergency medical crews. The worker was treated for pain and released.

2012: Westinghouse fails to follow through on a report to improve the facility so it could better withstand an earthquake, NRC says. Recommendations had been made nine years previously.

2015: Three workers are injured when steam erupted from a wash tank. The workers are taken to a Columbia area hospital for treatment and later sent to the burn center in Augusta, which specializes in treating severe burns.

2016: A buildup of uranium that could have led to a small burst of radiation forces Westinghouse to shut down part of the fuel plant and temporarily lay off 170 workers, about one-tenth of its work force at the plant. The uranium found in the scrubber area is nearly three times the legal limit.

2017: Westinghouse worker exposed to a solution toxic enough to cause chemical burns when the solution sprayed him. 2018: Uranium leaks into the ground through a hole in the Westinghouse plant floor. An acid solution had eaten into the floor. Soil was contaminated.

2018. The NRC says Westinghouse allowed workers to walk across a protecting liner for years, which likely weakened the liner and contributed to a hole in the floor that allowed uranium solution to leak out.

2019: Fire breaks out in a drum laden with mop heads, rags and other cleaning equipment.

2019: State and federal authorities report that water had leaked through a rusty shipping container and onto barrels of uranium-tainted trash. Contaminants then leaked into the soil below the shipping container floor.

2019: Westinghouse sends three workers to the hospital after they complained of an unusual taste in their mouths while doing maintenance on equipment that contains hydrofluoric acid.

2019: Two contaminated barrels are shipped from the Westinghouse plant to Washington State after workers in South Carolina failed to properly examine the containers for signs of radioactive contamination.

2020. The NRC issues violation against Westinghouse, this time after questions arose about nuclear safety. The issue centered on improper security of tamper seals, used to keep nuclear material from being stolen.

2020. NRC reports finding 13 pinhole leaks in a protective liner.

2020: South Carolina officials raise concerns about earthquakes at Westinghouse.

Sources: NRC records and news reports from The State. https://www.thestate.com/news/local/environment/article263945551.html

July 31, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

GLOBAL ALERT: Canada, Sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty! Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day 77th Anniversary Commemoration

“Nuclear weapons exist as a tool of power, inequality, and destruction. They have no place in the lives of future generations.” Dr. Vinay Jindal, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Canada

On Tuesday, August 9 at 7:00pm, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day Coalition invites your participation in the 77th Anniversary Commemoration of the Atomic bombings of Japan. Peace activists and dynamic presenters will highlight the importance of Canadian support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The event will also feature a message from City of Toronto Mayor John Tory, and music by Grammy-nominated flautist Ron Korb.

Keynote Speaker, Akira Kawasaki

Akira Kawasaki is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization Peace Boat. He also serves on the International Steering Group of the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Mr. Kawasaki has coordinated the “Global Hibakusha Project,” in which atomic bomb survivors travel the globe to share their testimony. He has also worked to educate young people to bring them into the movement for nuclear disarmament through numerous activities, such as the Hiroshima ICAN Academy. Mr. Kawasaki is a highly regarded author on nuclear issues, is respected by NGOs and governments alike, creating international opportunities to take action for disarmament. Mr. Kawasaki was recently awarded the Tanimoto Peace Prize in 2021.

Youth Speaker, Rooj Ali

Rooj Ali worked with fellow student Avinash Singh to gain the City of Winnipeg’s support for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as part of the youth-led International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Cities Appeal. Since 2019 Ms. Ali has been participating in a number of nuclear disarmament initiatives: co-chair of the Youth Nuclear Peace Summit, youth co-ordinator of Reverse the Trend: Save Our Planet, Save Our People, member of the Canadian Council of Young Feminists, and participant in the Hiroshima ICAN Academy.

Hiroshima Survivor, Setsuko Thurlow

Setsuko Thurlow was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when the United States used the world’s first nuclear weapon in war, destroying her beloved hometown, Hiroshima. For seven decades, she has warned the world that inaction is not an option: and that nuclear weapons must be totally eliminated. Throughout her adult life she has engaged in awareness raising and advocacy for nuclear abolition, and has shared her testimony about the realities of nuclear war with countless people across the globe. Today, Ms. Thurlow is a leading figure in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and co-received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN in December 2017.

Where is Canada? To date, 66 states are states parties to the Treaty, and a further 23 states have signed. In June of this year NATO countries Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium participated as observers at the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty. Canada did not participate. Now is the time for Canada to join the growing number of nations supporting and signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Registration: https://actionnetwork.org/events/canadasigntheban  https://www.pressenza.com/2022/07/global-alert-canada-sign-the-nuclear-ban-treaty-hiroshima-nagasaki-day-77th-anniversary-commemoration/

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High risks at Chornobyl

Radiation levels found at three times higher than IAEA numbers

High risks at Chornobyl — Beyond Nuclear International

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

  How Would Space Be Used In War?

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Weapons Policies of Japan and South Korea Challenged

By Jaya Ramachandran, GENEVA (IDN)31 July 22, — The Basel Peace Office, in cooperation with other civil society organisations, has challenged the nuclear weapons policies of Japan and South Korea in the UN Human Rights Council, maintaining that these violate the Right to Life, a right enshrined in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The two East Asian countries’ nuclear strategies have been called into question in reports submitted on July 14 as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the obligations of Japan, South Korea and 12 other countries under human rights treaties. (See Submission on Japan and Submission on South Korea).

The submissions, presented at a time when Russia has made nuclear threats to the US and NATO if they intervene in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, underline the need to address the risks of nuclear deterrence policies. Besides, Russia is not the only country that possesses nuclear weapons and/or maintains options to initiate nuclear war………………

 both Japan and South Korea are engaged in extended nuclear deterrence policies which involve the threat or use of US nuclear weapons on their behalf in an armed conflict. Both have also supported the option of first use of nuclear weapons on their behalf, even when the United States has been trying to step back from such a policy.

The Basel Peace Office and other civil society organisations argue that the extended nuclear deterrence policies of Japan and South Korea violate their human rights obligations, as is their lack of support for negotiations for comprehensive, global nuclear disarmament.

The submissions make several recommendations of policies the governments could take to conform to the Right to Life. These include adopting no-first-use policies and taking measures to phase out the role of nuclear weapons in their security doctrines.

This they could do by establishing a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and urging at the ongoing Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference an agreement on the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 75th anniversary of the NPT………………………..
more https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/armaments/nuclear-weapons/5487-nuclear-weapons-policies-of-japan-and-south-korea-challenged

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Japan, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kishida to call for nuke-free world in historic address at U.N. treaty conference

Japan Times, BY ERIC JOHNSTON, 31 July 22,

In a year in which nuclear disarmament hopes have been dented by not-so-subtle references by Russia to its own arsenal following its invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to make history as the first Japanese leader to address the United Nations’ nuclear nonproliferation treaty review conference, which begins in New York on Monday.

Kishida, who represents a district in Hiroshima, is expected to call for a world without nuclear weapons and for greater transparency among nuclear powers regarding their stockpiles and capabilities. His message will refer to Japan’s experience as the only country to have been attacked with an atomic bomb. The leader will also stress that all countries should neither use nuclear weapons nor threaten to use them.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Friday, the prime minister said it was important to link the treaty’s ideals with current geopolitical realities.

“The debate on nuclear disarmament is atrophying,” Kishida said, and he announced he would present a plan at the conference that would hopefully serve as a roadmap toward reaching a world without nuclear weapons.

The prime minister sees Japan’s role at the nearly monthlong conference, which will focus on keeping the buildup of nuclear weapons under control, as one of helping to bridge the differences between nuclear powers and nonnuclear states. Kishida is hoping to promote talks between China and the United States on nuclear disarmament and arms control. He’s also expected to call on the international community to work toward North Korea’s denuclearization………………………….
more https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/07/31/national/nuclear-conference-kishida-speech/

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Japan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Lawmaker Says Iran Nuclear Talks Will Resume In Coming Days

 https://www.iranintl.com/en/202207318199 1 Aug 22, An Iranian lawmaker has said the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, will resume probably in Vienna in the coming days.

Yaghoub Rezazadeh, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Sunday that the decision has been taken thanks to the latest efforts of the European parties to reach a conclusion about the negotiations. 

Rezazadeh added that the Islamic Republic had proposed that the next round would be held in Iran, but the final location of the negotiations will be determined following the agreement by the parties.

He said during the past few days the members of the committee held several meetings with Ali Bagheri-Kani, the head of Tehran’s negotiating team.

Moreover, Ali Bagheri-Kani tweeted on Sunday that “We shared our proposed ideas, both on substance and form, to pave the way for a swift conclusion of Vienna negotiations which were aimed at fixing the damaging complicated situation caused by the US unilateral and unlawful withdrawal.”

He added that Tehran works closely with the JCPOA partners, in particular with the EU coordinator of the talks “to give another chance to the US to demonstrate good faith and act responsibly. As Iran, we stand ready to conclude the negotiations in a short order, should the other side be ready to do the same.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price said on July 26 that the US was mulling European Union’s proposals over Iran’s nuclear program. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell recently produced new ideas to bridge differences between the United States and Iran and allow both to return to the agreement.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

UK to be left for 1000s of years with Hinkley Point B’s legacy of nuclear waste

 Hinkley Point B (HPB) may be ending electricity generation on 1st August,
but the UK will be left with its legacy of nuclear waste for thousands of
years. Even after generating waste for 46 years, we are still not sure what
will happen to it other than a vague promise that it will be buried
underground in a Geological Disposal Facility – a site for which has
still not been found. Press release and briefing available.

 Stop Hinkley 27th July 2022

http://stophinkley.org/press-releases/hinkley-point-b-closure-the-end-of-an-error/

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is it environmentally sound to bury a massive stockpile of nuclear waste beneath the ocean floor? Probably not.

 In case you were wondering if it was environmentally sound to bury a
massive stockpile of untreated nuclear waste beneath the ocean floor, the
answer that many UK-based experts will likely give you is: probably not.
But according to The Guardian, that’s exactly what the UK government is
planning to do — and experts are begging them to reconsider, arguing that
burying the waste beneath the seabed could devastate marine life in the
short-term, and leave future generations with an even more serious
environmental catastrophe to sort out.

 Futurism 30th July 2022

https://futurism.com/the-byte/uk-bury-nuclear-waste-under-ocean-floor

July 31, 2022 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point B nuclear power station to close permanently, due to safety concerns

 Hinkley Point B closure adds to strain on Britain’s power supplies. The
nuclear plant is due to stop generating power on Monday,…  Hinkley Point B, near Bridgwater in Somerset, will stop generating at 10am on Monday morning, 46 years after it first
sent power to the grid. It is closing due to age, with hairline cracks appearing in its graphite
bricks. EDF said it was too late to try and keep it open for winter, given the detailed safety case required.

Telegraph 30th July 2022

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/07/30/nuclear-plant-closure-adds-strain-britains-power-supplies/

July 31, 2022 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

The future of global catastrophic risk events from climate change

Increasing risks posed by climate change are causing rare extreme events that can kill more than 10 million people or lead to damages of $10 trillion-plus, posing threats of total societal collapse, a U.N. report finds.

Yale Climate Connections, by JEFF MASTERSJULY 28, 2022.

our times since 1900, human civilization has suffered global catastrophes with extreme impacts: World War I (40 million killed), the 1918-19 influenza pandemic (40-50 million killed), World War II (40-50 million killed), and the COVID-19 pandemic (an economic impact in the trillions, and a 2020-21 death toll of 14.9 million, according to the World Health Organization).

These are the only events since the beginning of the 20th century that meet the United Nations’s definition of global catastrophic risk (GCR): a catastrophe global in impact that kills over 10 million people or causes over $10 trillion (2022 USD) in damage.

But human activity is “creating greater and more dangerous risk” and increasing the odds of global catastrophic risk events, by increasingly pushing humans beyond nine “planetary boundaries” of environmental limits within which humanity can safely operate, warns a recent United Nations report, “Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – Our World at Risk: Transforming Governance for a Resilient Future” (GAR2022) and its companion paper, “Global catastrophic risk and planetary boundaries: The relationship to global targets and disaster risk reduction” (see July post, “Recklessness defined: breaking 6 of 9 planetary boundaries of safety“).

These reports, endorsed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, make the case that the combined effects of disasters, economic vulnerabilities, and overtaxing of ecosystems are creating “a dangerous tendency for the world to tend toward the Global Collapse scenario. This scenario presents a world where planetary boundaries have been extensively crossed, and if GCR events have not already occurred or are in the process of occurring, then their likelihood of doing so in the future is extreme … and total societal collapse is a possibility.”

Global catastrophic risk (GCR) events

Human civilization has evolved during the Holocene Era, the stability of which is now threatened by human-caused climate change. As a result, global catastrophic risk events from climate change are growing increasingly likely, the U.N. May 2022 reports conclude. There are many other potential global catastrophic risk events, both natural and human-caused (Figure 2 on original), posing serious risks and warranting humanity’s careful consideration. But the report cautions of “large uncertainty both for the likelihood of such events occurring and for their wider impact.” …………….

Five types of GCR events with increasing likelihood in a warmer climate

1) Drought……………………….

2) War…………………………………..

3) Sea-level rise, combined with land subsidence………………………………….

4) Pandemics……………………..

…….. Note that in the case of the 1918-19 influenza GCR event, a separate GCR event helped trigger it: WWI, because of the mass movement of troops that spread the disease. The U.N. reports emphasize that one GCR event can trigger other GCR events, with climate change acting as a threat multiplier.

5) Ocean current changes………………………….

6) Ocean acidification

7) A punishing surprise
In 2004, Harvard climate scientists Paul Epstein and James McCarthy conclude in a paper titled “Assessing Climate Stability” that: “We are already observing signs of instability within the climate system……………… high impact weather events – “black swan” events – that no one anticipated…………………………………………..

Avoiding climate change-induced global catastrophic risk events is of urgent importance, and the UN report is filled with promising approaches that can help. For example, it explains how systemic risk in food systems from rainfall variability in the Middle East can be reduced using traditional and indigenous dryland management practices involving rotational grazing and access to reserves in the dry season. More generally, the encouraging clean energy revolution now under way globally needs to be accelerated. And humanity must do its utmost to pay back the loans taken from the Bank of Gaia, stop burning fossil fuels and polluting the environment, and restoring degraded ecosystems. If we do not, the planet that sustains us will no longer be able to.  https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/07/the-future-of-global-catastrophic-risk-events-from-climate-change/

July 31, 2022 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

JNFL to consider delaying completion of spent fuel reprocessing plant

26th postponement of the commissioning of the Rokkashô-mura nuclear reprocessing plant in Japan. It should have started in 1997…

July 29, 2022
At a press conference on July 29, Naohiro Masuda, president of JNFL, which is constructing a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village, said that the plant’s target completion date, which is approximately two months away, “has reached a point where we have to consider postponing it. JNFL is considering the postponement of the construction of the Rokkasho Nuclear Power Plant.

JNFL has set the target completion date of the spent fuel reprocessing plant it is constructing in Rokkasho Village for the first half of this fiscal year, by September of this year.

At a regular press conference held on September 29, JNFL President Masuda stated, “Next week we will have less than two months to complete the plant, so we would like to consider the future outlook based on the status of the examination. We have reached a point where we need to consider postponing the project,” he said, indicating that he would consider postponing the project.

President Masuda cited as reasons for the postponement the ongoing Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of safety measures and other work that are prerequisites for completion, as well as the fact that the amount of work has increased from the original plan and that the plan needs to be carefully examined in order to proceed safely.

Regarding the time frame if the project is postponed, he stated, “I don’t think it will be something that will take two or three years,” but he also indicated that it is not expected to last more than a few months.

The reprocessing plant was originally planned to be completed in 1997, 25 years ago, but has been postponed 25 times due to repeated problems.

The reopening of the uranium enrichment plant has been postponed.
JNFL announced on April 29 that the plant in Rokkasho, which manufactures enriched uranium needed to produce nuclear fuel for use in nuclear power plants, will resume operation in February of next year, instead of September of this year, based on the status of safety measures and other factors. JNFL announced on April 29 that the resumption of operations at the Rokkasho uranium enrichment plant, which is located in Rokkasho Village, has been changed to February next year.

The uranium enrichment plant in Rokkasho is the only commercial facility in Japan that produces enriched uranium, which is necessary for nuclear fuel used in nuclear power plants. The plant has been out of operation since September 201 7 in order to conduct safety work to comply with the new national regulatory standards.

JNFL announced on the 29th that it had changed the date of resumption of operation to February next year, citing delays in the safety work.

[President apologizes for trouble with reprocessed liquid waste.
Naohiro Masuda, president of JNFL, apologized for the trouble at the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho village, saying, “I would like to express my deepest apologies for causing great concern to the local community.

At the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, the cooling system for one of the tanks storing high-level radioactive liquid waste stopped functioning for about eight hours on the second of this month.

At the beginning of the press conference on March 29, JNFL President Masuda stated, “I would like to express my deepest apologies for causing so much concern to the local community. I am very sorry.

JNFL has stated that one of the two lines circulating water to cool the tank was under construction, and that a worker who was instructed to close the valve on that line may have inadvertently closed the valve on the line that was still in operation. The company claims that this is the case.

Regarding measures to prevent recurrence, President Masuda explained that valves that affect the cooling function are physically locked so that they cannot be operated, and that when safety-related equipment is placed in one line for construction or other reasons, monitoring is strengthened more than usual.

He added, “We will thoroughly implement measures to prevent recurrence and continue to place the highest priority on safety.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/aomori/20220729/6080016788.html?fbclid=IwAR0J114Ufuu1EDQ3nl_NeXdxMclco4QjbKnxyoI87ry9B0Ff_d0Btawxkig

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-TEPCO execs appeal $95 bil. damages ruling over Fukushima crisis

This file photo shows a building that houses the Tokyo District and High courts in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward.

July 27, 2022

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Wednesday appealed a court ruling that ordered them to pay the utility some 13 trillion yen ($95 billion) in damages for failing to prevent the tsunami-induced 2011 crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, their lawyer said.

The July 13 ruling of the Tokyo District Court was the first to find former TEPCO executives liable for compensation after the combined impact of a massive earthquake and tsunami on the plant in northeastern Japan in March 2011 caused one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

Though it would be difficult for individuals to pay such a large sum of compensation, the damages of over 13 trillion yen are likely to be the largest ever awarded in a civil lawsuit in Japan. Nearly 50 shareholders had sought a total of around 22 trillion yen in damages.

The plaintiffs also filed an appeal on Wednesday demanding that damages of 22 trillion yen they are seeking should be fully recognized.

They also demand the seizure of four executives’ possessions, after the district court said that process can begin even if its ruling is appealed and the trial continues at a higher court.

The four executives are former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, former President Masataka Shimizu and former vice presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that, despite a TEPCO unit’s 2008 assessment of the plant’s vulnerability to tsunamis, the utility’s countermeasures for a tsunami risk “fundamentally lacked safety awareness and a sense of responsibility,” judging that the executives failed to perform their duties.

The former executives’ defense team has argued that an earlier government study on which the 2008 assessment was based lacked reliability and the management was still in the process of having a civil engineering association study whether the company should incorporate the tsunami risk evaluation in 2008 into its countermeasures.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220727/p2g/00m/0na/053000c

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment