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Collective madness — Zaporizhzhia is the poster child for abandoning the use of nuclear power.

The IAEA team that went to Zaporizhizhia aren’t superheroes and can’t fix what’s broken

Collective madness — Beyond Nuclear International By Linda Pentz Gunter
The deadly peril posed by nuclear power plants embroiled in a war zone — something we have been warning about since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine — just came into even sharper focus.
The continued military activity around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, home to six of Ukraine’s 15 reactors, has raised worldwide concern about the terrible consequences should a missile strike a reactor, or worse, the unprotected irradiated fuel pools or radioactive waste storage casks.

Let’s remember that the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster — the result of the explosion of a single, relatively new unit — has rendered a 1,000 square mile region (the Exlusion Zone) uninhabitable still today and for the foreseeable future. Any one of the Zaporizhzhia reactors contains a far larger radioactive inventory and a more densely packed fuel pool than was the case at Chornobyl. A major breach of any one of the six would release long-lasting radioactive contamination into the environment, forcing permanent evacuations and sickening countless people.

Several obvious conclusions emerge from all this.

  1. Nuclear reactors cannot be in a war zone.
  2. The consequences of an attack on a nuclear plant could be catastrophic, long-lasting and far-reaching.
  3. It is impossible to predict where a war might happen (Lindsey Graham’s recent reckless statements remind us that yes, there could even be (civil) war again here in the US).
  4. The odds of a catastrophic failure at a nuclear plant must be zero given the unacceptable consequences; an impossibility.
  5. Nuclear power plants are not only ill-suited to the climate of war, but also to both the present and impending extremes of climate change (major sea-level rise; floods; fires; violent weather events etc).

Therefore, it is senseless and irresponsible to continue using nuclear power as an energy source.

Instead, as a 14-person delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made its way to the Zaporizhzhia plant, its General Secretary, Rafael Grossi, stated that theirs was a mission “that seeks to prevent a nuclear accident and to preserve this important — the largest, the biggest — nuclear power plant in Europe”. 

Preserve? Well, as Henry Sokolski just reminded us in his August 31 article — The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Is Kindling for World War III — “The IAEA was founded seventy years ago to promote nuclear power.” It is set up to “conduct occasional nuclear audits, not to physically protect plants against military attacks or to demilitarize zones around them,” he wrote. “The IAEA can’t provide the Zaporizhzhia plant with any defenses, nor will it risk keeping IAEA staff on-site to serve as defensive tripwires.”

James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, issued similar warnings about the limitations of the IAEA delegation when he was interviewed about the worsening situation at Zaporizhzhia and the IAEA visit on the August 29th edition of The Rachel Maddow Show. 

“We should be realistic about what they can achieve,” he said. “It’s their job to report what’s going on in the plant, to assess the safety and security features on the plant and to report back. They don’t have a magic way of defending the plant or repairing broken equipment.”

The White House has called for the Zaporizhzhia reactors to be shut down. It should be calling for all reactors to be shut down. Instead, it is blindly persisting with nuclear power as a present and future energy program. 

The White House is not alone, of course. The illogical — and arguably insane — response to the war in Ukraine by a number of governments has been to insist on the continued or even expanded use of nuclear energy. Given what is at stake in so doing — and given the obvious safer, faster and cheaper alternatives of energy efficiency and renewable energy— this appears to be a symptom of some kind of collective madness.

Let’s face it, if Zaporizhzhia was a 6-acre wind farm instead of a 6-reactor nuclear power plant, we wouldn’t even be talking about it, let alone worrying about how to pronounce it.

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear and writes for and curates Beyond Nuclear International.

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September 4, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nuclear power for Britain – a “financial basket case “

Recent days have seen Government ministers blaming opposition parties for
the failure to deploy nuclear power in the UK. But the problem is not
politicians, not the Conservatives, Labour or anyone else; it is the
extreme difficulty of delivering nuclear power itself.

Financially, it is a basket case, and any other technology with similar problems simply wouldn’t
get past the lobbyists’ meetings with politicians. On August 7th Kwasi
Kwarteng produced a tweet blaming Nick Clegg and Labour for delays in
building nuclear power, saying: ‘Thanks to Labour’s 13-year moratorium
and Lib Dem blockers in the Coalition, we made no progress on nuclear.
Supply chains disappeared. Since 2015, we got Hinkley approved and Sizewell
C received planning consent last month. ‘

However, this explanation does
not stand up to serious analysis. In their 2005 manifesto the Conservatives
did not even mention nuclear power, referring instead to renewables and
energy efficiency as a means of protecting energy security. By the 2010
election both Labour and Conservatives were backing the idea of building
more nuclear power plant, but Conservatives ruled out giving nuclear
subsidies. Their manifesto said they would be ‘clearing the way for new
nuclear power stations – provided they receive no public subsidy’ .Of
course the Liberal Democrats were very much opposed to new nuclear power
before they joined the Coalition in 2010.

But then it was the Liberal
Democrat Energy Secretary of State Chris Huhne who proposed a new
electricity market reform consultation paper at the end of 2010. This
allowed, in effect, nuclear power to receive public subsidies under the
cover that this same subsidy would be available to other low carbon
sources. This laid the basis for the current contracts for difference (CfD)
regime which is funding Hinkley C.

But in practice the offer of a generous
CfD for Hinkley C proved not to satisfy the prospective nuclear generators.
This included EDF which was/is backed by the French state who wanted to
promote France’s new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) design. The most
fundamental problem was that no major British political party was then
willing to underwrite cost overruns – this was seen as giving nuclear
constructors a blank cheque, which it is. Nevertheless this underwriting
has now, latterly, been given EDF for Sizewell C under the so-called
‘RAB’ arrangements.

100% Renewables 3rd Sept 2022

September 4, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

No energy solution without a radical rethink — World leaders suck in the fossil-nuclear mindset

Global leaders bear responsibility for ever worsening energy problems

No solution without a radical rethink — Beyond Nuclear International The danger of antiquated fossil-nuclear mindsets on energy policy
By Hans-Josef Fell 4 Sept 22,

EU President von der Leyen, German Chancellor Scholz, French President Macron, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing Wen, as well as most other global leaders – they are all characterized by the fact that in their important high-ranking functions they have almost always viewed energy security solely from a fossil-nuclear perspective. To the present day they have prioritised the business interests of the big energy companies, whose focus is fossil-nuclear.  

These global leaders subordinated the resulting geopolitical tensions and climate protection in their policy of procuring crude oil, natural gas, coal and uranium, although the consequences have been foreseeable for decades. They have not effectively promoted domestic renewable energies as the only real solution for energy security. For that reason, they are largely responsible for the fact that the EU and other regions are now highly dependent on energy supplies from autocratic countries and they bear a large share of the blame for the current, ever worsening energy problems, geopolitical tensions and global warming.  …………

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz  

For example, German Chancellor Scholz has still not been to Bavaria, the state that has been the biggest blocker of the energy transition for years and is hence now facing particularly massive energy problems in the coming winter. ……………………..

French President Emmanuel Macron   

Another example for persisting fossil nuclear patterns of thought is the French President Emmanuel Macron. He aims to build 14 new nuclear power plants and to continue operation of the existing ones with 50-year longevity extensions to enable French energy security in the years ahead.  This strategy seems particularly absurd in light of France’s recent experiences with new nuclear construction and operation.  For example, the only new nuclear power plant built in France, the EPR reactor in Flamanville, is still not in operation since construction started in 2007 and planned commissioning in 2012. Construction costs have skyrocketed by at least three times.  With this in mind, the plans for the construction of 14 new reactors will certainly not be feasible before 2050 and hence will by no means be part of a solution to the the current energy crisis.

On the contrary, France’s 56 nuclear power plants contribute significantly to the European energy crisis. Up to 50% of the French nuclear power plants had to be shut down recently, partly because significant safety risks had been discovered due to cracks in the cooling pipes. Additionally, many other nuclear plants had to be shut down this hot summer due to warm river temperatures and low water levels that could no longer guarantee the plants’ cooling.If the drought persists, there is a threat of further shutdowns in the coming weeks, incidentally also at coal-fired power plants as they also rely on river cooling water.   

So far, a French blackout has only been prevented with green electricity supplies from Germany………………….

   EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen   …………………………..  Ursula von der Leyen is responsible for the inclusion of the highly climate-damaging natural gas and the highly dangerous nuclear energy as “green” energies in the EU taxonomy. There is no more obvious way to document the compliant support of the fossil and nuclear economy. Against this backdrop, Ursula von der Leyens recent political activities completely failed in terms of the expansion of renewable energies.  

Ukrainian President Wolodimir Selenski  

The Ukrainian President Wolodomir Selenski plans to export electricity to Europe to generate revenue. However, more than 50% of the electricity in Ukraine comes from nuclear power plants. These are at high risk in Putin’s war right now. Misdicrected rockets as well as targeted attacks during wars can cause a nuclear “super-disaster”. In that case, regions all over Europe would be affected by radioactive contamination……….

 at least in wars, nuclear power plants must be shut down. President Selenski, however, is still sticking to nuclear power production, building up on his announcement to construct new nuclear power plants. Moreover, Ukraine itself buys fuel elements from Russia and thus paradoxically finances Russia’s war of aggression against its own country.  

Selenski’s adherence to the fossil-nuclear energy system is thus also a great danger to the existence of all Europeans. The only way out of this highly dangerous situation is the switch to 100% renewable energies. But so far, Selenski has hardly promoted this transformation.  

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen  

Similarily, the industrial region of Taiwan, another current trouble spot,  is almost completely dependent on fossil and nuclear energy supplies from abroad…………………………………..

Conclusion 

Scholz, Macron, von der Leyen,  Selenski, Tsai Ing Wen – as different as the challenges that the respective countries are currently facing may be – what unites them all is that they seem to have learned nothing from the current crises. Even though the multidimensional crises of our time – energy price crisis, climate crisis, health crisis, wars – show us more painfully than ever where our nuclear fossil dependency has led us, they are still clinging to the fossil and nuclear energy system instead of clearly focusing all efforts on the expansion of renewable energies. Only with these will we be able to embark on the path to a sustainable and peaceful future. Read our global study to learn how such a 100% clean energy supply can be implemented worldwide in a technically and economically viable way.

Hans-Josef Fell is the founder and president of The Energy Watch Group and was a member of the German Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/ the Greens from 1998 to 2013.

September 4, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant loses power line – IAEA

ZURICH, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant again lost connection to the last remaining main external power line, but continues to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday.

The agency also said, in a statement posted on its website, that only one of the station’s six reactors remained in operation…………..

The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s experts now stationed at the plant were told by Ukrainian staff that the site’s fourth operational 750 kilovolt power line was down after three others were lost earlier, the IAEA said.

But IAEA experts also learned that a reserve line linking the facility to a nearby thermal power plant was delivering electricity to the external grid. This reserve line can also provide backup power to the ZNPP if needed, it said.

“One reactor is still operating and producing electricity both for cooling and other essential safety functions at the site and for households, factories and others through the grid,” the IAEA said………  https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-loses-power-line-iaea-2022-09-03/

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A series of defective products at a French MOX fuel plant Abnormal nuclear reaction at a nuclear power plant

A shipping container containing MOX fuel being unloaded from a ship by crane. At left is the containment vessel of the No. 4 reactor at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant of Kansai Electric Power Co. November 17, 2021.

September 3, 2022

A series of defective products have been found at the Mellox plant in southeastern France, which manufactures fuel for plutonium thermal power generation, in which plutonium is burned in nuclear power plants. In addition, an abnormal increase in nuclear reactions has also been observed at some nuclear power plants that are conducting plu-thermal power generation. What in the world is going on?

 The plant also manufactures fuel for the Japanese market. No problems have been found so far with the fuel for the Japanese market, but production has been delayed, and future product deliveries are now unpredictable.

 Plutonium is extracted from spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants through chemical processing (reprocessing). Plutonium is mixed with uranium in the case of pressurized-water nuclear power plants that conduct plutonium thermal power generation, and baked into pellets, cylindrical grains about 8 mm in diameter. This is called mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel (MOX fuel). In the case of a pressurized-water nuclear power plant that conducts plutonium thermal power generation, approximately 320 pellets are stacked inside fuel rods, and another 260 fuel rods are bundled together to form a fuel assembly (approximately 4.1 meters in height).


Highly Difficult Homogenization

 It is difficult to uniformly mix plutonium and uranium. According to ASN data and other sources, “plutonium spots,” dense clumps of plutonium, were found in the fuel pellets produced at the MELOX plant. Plutonium spots were found in the fuel pellets manufactured at the MELOX plant.

 On the other hand, a phenomenon in which the amount of neutrons, which indicate a nuclear reaction, increases more than expected near the upper and lower ends of MOX fuel rods was confirmed at a French nuclear power plant conducting a plutonium thermal operation.

 According to ASN, the combination of this plutonium mass problem and the two anomalies of partially elevated nuclear reactions was predicted to “raise questions about the integrity of the fuel, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

 According to Chihiro Uesawa, 56, an engineering specialist at the NPO Nuclear Information and Data Center (Nakano Ward, Tokyo), concerns are that the fuel could melt or the tubes covering the fuel could break. When plutonium is used as fuel, it has been pointed out that there is a possibility of a localized increase in nuclear reactions. This has become apparent,” Uesawa said.

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220831/k00/00m/040/238000c?fbclid=IwAR1mQYYAbxefVEt_eDl-y8N9DfIOlvhN-MSVKCbbWsgR7rmvCRI6gu8ZyEE

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

UK’s Nuclear Gambit Faces Long Odds Even With Sizewell Approval

The 24 gigawatt-target is “not viable if each project happens by negotiation that takes five to 10 years,”  said Luba Kotzeva de Diaz, managing director European energy & renewables at Lazard Ltd.

  • EDF’s Hinkley Point C is over budget and behind schedule
  • Government’s 24-gigawatt nuclear target seen as unrealistic

Bloomberg. By Rachel Morison, September 4, 2022 , The UK’s audacious push to triple nuclear power capacity inched forward with the promise of government funding for the Sizewell C station, but doubts remain about the government’s ability to greenlight enough projects by 2030 to meet that goal.

Considering it took about 10 years for Electricite de France SA’s plant to get this far, the government’s “go big” gambit on nuclear energy — to help wean the nation off Russian fossil fuels and reduce emissions — is seen as a long shot. And those odds may get worse for the successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

……….. The government wants to deliver eight new nuclear reactors this decade — needing approval at a pace equivalent to one a year. A construction program of this scale hasn’t been achieved on the continent since the French in the 1970s, prompting calls on leaders to find alternative paths for achieving energy independence and legally binding emissions cuts. 

“It will be extremely difficult for the government,” said Asgeir Heimisson, senior associate at Aurora Energy Research Ltd. “Investment would need to occur approximately every three years from 2022, requiring a total of about £180 billion of capital expenditure.”

That’s a challenge for the new prime minister, who will take over in coming days amid a recession spurred by record energy prices and an inflation rate set to hit 14% this winter.

By 2050, a 24 gigawatt-strong fleet of new reactors is supposed to provide stable backup for offshore wind, the most-advanced renewable technology in Britain. The near-term ambition here is massive, too: reaching 50 gigawatts this decade………………………………..

The Sizewell project still needs significant backing from private investors before a final investment decision is made. It would follow on from Hinkley Point C, the UK’s first nuclear plant in three decades. Progress at Hinkley is costing more and taking longer to build than planned, stoking concerns about whether the government is right to rely so heavily on the technology.

Financing is the biggest hurdle for new stations, with the price tag for Sizewell being £20 billion ($23 billion) at the start of this year, but materials costs have surged since. An overhaul of the financing mechanism is meant to attract more funds. The regulated asset base, or RAB, model is supposed to encourage private investors and dilute the construction risk shouldered by the developer and taxpayers.

The government’s £700 million investment is expected to form a 20% stake in the project, with EDF taking another 20%. Greencoat Capital LLC, one of the UK’s biggest managers of renewable-energy funds, is considering investing, founder Richard Nourse said in July. 

Sizewell represents a “glimmer of hope” for the nuclear industry, said Vince Zabielski, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLC. “The investment shows promise, but the decision is about 10 years late.”

…………The 24 gigawatt-target is “not viable if each project happens by negotiation that takes five to 10 years,”  said Luba Kotzeva de Diaz, managing director European energy & renewables at Lazard Ltd. — With assistance by Ellen Milligan  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-04/uk-s-nuclear-gambit-faces-long-odds-even-with-sizewell-approval

September 4, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Youth- led 7 day anti-nuclear march against UK government’s plan for small nuclear reactors

Members of the youth cohort of CND Cymru will be embarking on a 7-day march
from Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station in Gwynedd to Wylfa Nuclear Power
Station on Ynys Môn in September, in protest against the Westminster
government’s decision to locate Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) on
the decommissioned sites.

This decision came hand in hand with the growing
frustration felt by young people following the government’s
‘greenwashing’ of nuclear energy; selling it as a form of clean, safe and
homegrown energy in the backdrop of the climate crisis.

We are equally concerned about the disastrous effects of uranium mining on the lands of
indigenous people in Australia as well as in areas of the Global South –
not to mention the links between nuclear power, the military and nuclear
weapons.

The young people who have decided to march against the
construction of SMRs in Trawsfynydd and Wylfa want their voices heard in
the debates that will depict the future landscape in which they will have
to live in. They demand to see preparations for a genuinely green future
and the creation of jobs that will not come at the expense of the health of
workers and their communities, or the environment.

Climate justice cannot
be achieved by nuclear energy. We will be walking with the support of the
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Nuclear Free Local Authorities
(NFLA), CADNO, PAWB, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, XR Cymru, Youth Fusion and Mabon
ap Gwynfor (MS). Although the march will be youth-led, anyone wishing to
join will be most welcome.

CND Cymru 4th Sept 2022

https://www.facebook.com/cndcymru/

September 4, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

If people take part in referendums in Donbass region, Ukraine government will prosecute them as criminal offenders

Kiev threatens pro-Russia Ukrainians with jail terms. more https://www.rt.com/russia/562159-kiev-referendum-jail-time/ 4 Sept 22, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister warns that voting in referendums in Moscow-controlled territories is a criminal offence

Ukrainian citizens risk criminal prosecution and a jail time of up to 12 years if they participate in referendums on joining Russia, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk warned on Saturday. 

“There are not and will not be any referendums on our Ukrainian land,” Vereshchuk stated during a national broadcast.

Pro-Russian authorities in the Zaporozhye, Kharkov and Kherson Regions, as well the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, previously spoke of potentially holding referendums on uniting with Russia, but so far no dates have been set.

“It’s all a farce and a circus. But for our citizens who will take part in this, there is actually an article of the Criminal Code,” Kiev’s deputy prime minister said. 

“If collaboration is proven, or, for example, participation in the referendum or incitement to participate in the referendum, then people can receive up to 12 years with confiscation (of assets),” she warned.

Vereshchuk urged Ukrainians who remain in Russia-controlled territories to evacuate or avoid voting in any plebiscites, as “no pressure, no violent incitement, etc., can later justify the fact that a person went to the referendum.” 

When asked, how many people potentially might take part in voting, Vereshchuk claimed the percentage is “tiny… not even 2%.”

The Ukrainian government previously warned that citizens who attempt to become Russian citizens could be punished with up to 15 years in prison.

September 4, 2022 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukrainian government wants to sell nuclear energy to Germany

 DW, 4 Sept 22, Kyiv offers nuclear energy to Germany. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said a proposal to export electricity to Germany amid the ongoing energy crisis would be “a very good deal for both sides.” DW rounds up the latest…….

“Currently, Ukraine exports its electricity to Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Poland. But we are quite ready to expand our exports to Germany,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told the dpa news agency on Saturday.

“We have a sufficient amount of electricity in Ukraine, thanks to our nuclear power plants,” he said. The issue will be discussed during Shmyhal’s visit to Berlin over the weekend, where he will be meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

Electricity consumption in Ukraine has fallen since the start of the Russian invasion, due to the mass exodus of refugees and an economic slump.

Shmyhal said such a deal “would be very good for both sides.”…….

Ukraine operates four nuclear power plants with a total capacity of more than 14 gigawatts.

However, observers fear Russia’s capture of the Zaporizhzhia facility — the largest nuclear power plant in Europe — could lead to a serious accident if the war intensifies…………. https://www.dw.com/en/russia-ukraine-updates-kyiv-offers-nuclear-energy-to-germany/a-63009289

September 4, 2022 Posted by | marketing, Ukraine | Leave a comment

“This is Not Our War” • Czech People Rise Up Against NATOSTAN War — Calculus of Decay

Tens of thousands took to the streets to protest the NATO involvement in the Russia/Ukraine war:

“This is Not Our War” • Czech People Rise Up Against NATOSTAN War — Calculus of Decay

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nikopol under attack: Residents flee fighting near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Euro News 4 Set 22, Every day, people gather in a wooded park just 30 kilometres from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and set up temporary shelters.

Some are from the southern Ukrainian city of Nikopol, situated down the river from Europe’s biggest nuclear power station.  

The campers have fled Nikopol to escape shelling, with many of them sleeping in tents or their cars. When the rumbling of artillery fire stops, they return to Nikopol to work or check if their homes are still in one piece. 

Attacks on Nikopol – located just 10 kilometres from Zaporizhzhia – have intensified over the past couple of weeks, as Russia and Ukrainian continue to exchange deadly blows in their six-month conflict. ……

More than 50% of Nikopol’s residents have fled the city, according to local authorities, with many of those who remain being forced to sleep in basements and shelters.  https://www.euronews.com/2022/09/04/nikopol-under-attack-residents-flee-fighting-near-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New submersion method in consideration for Fukushima debris cleanup

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is seen on Feb. 9, 2022. From left, the No. 4, No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1 reactors.

September 2, 2022

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered core meltdowns in 2011, is considering a new submersion method for removing radioactive fuel debris that would wholly encase a reactor building in a water-filled, tank-like structure, a source close to the company said Thursday.

Conceptual breakthroughs with the method, whose advantages include using water’s ability to interrupt radiation and thereby provide a safer working environment, have made it a promising candidate for the cleanup of the defunct nuclear plant, according to the source close to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

But with no proven track record in the nuclear field, investigations are ongoing into future technological issues and costs, among other contingencies. The source said it could “require advanced technology to stop water leaking out and become a huge construction project.”

Were it to go ahead, the process from building to actual debris removal would be lengthy and would likely affect total decommissioning costs, currently pegged at about 8 trillion yen ($57.45 billion).

In the aftermath of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, nuclear fuel cooling processes failed at the Fukushima plant’s reactors 1 through 3, causing the fuel to melt and resolidify into radioactive debris mixed with concrete, metal and other materials present in the reactors.

Debris removal is the operator’s most challenging issue in the Fukushima plant cleanup. Some 880 tons of the radioactive waste material is estimated to have been created by the nuclear meltdown across the three reactors.

The new submersion method, which is currently expected to be applied to the No. 3 reactor, would involve building a strong, pressure-resistant structure, such as a ship’s hull or a plane’s body, completely encapsulating the reactor, including underground.

The structure could then be filled with water, and removal work would take place from the top.

The operator initially considered a similar method to fill the reactor’s containment vessel with water. But the idea was abandoned due to potential difficulties fixing holes in the structure and the possibility it would increase workers’ exposure to radiation.

Preparations are being made to include the new submersion method in the 2022 edition of a strategic plan for decommissioning to be compiled by the state-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp., which is helping the operator scrap the reactors.

In the case of the No. 2 reactor, preparations remain under way for its debris removal via a dry method, involving extracting the material without filling the reactor with water. The NDF intends to keep it as a potential option in its strategic plan.

While the No. 2 reactor’s cleanup was slated to begin this year, on Aug. 25, the government said removal work would be delayed a further 12 to 18 months to ensure safety and reliability.

The government and the power company are operating under a plan to complete debris removal and finish decommissioning work sometime between 2041 and 2051.

Amid the extensive cleanup in Fukushima, the Japanese government said on Aug. 24 that it is considering the construction of the next generation of nuclear plants amid an increasingly fraught energy supply environment and the country’s dependency on imported natural resources.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220902/p2g/00m/0na/002000c

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

As Japan builds nuclear dumping facilities, Pacific groups say ‘stop’

September 1, 2022

Pacific civil society groups are calling on Japan to halt its plans to dump radioactive nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this month the Japanese government started building facilities needed for the discharge of treated, but still radioactive, wastewater from the defunct Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In a joint statement, civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and activists described the Fumio Kishida Government’s plans as a fundamental breach of Pacific peoples’ right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Joey Tau from the pan-Pacific movement Youngsolwara Pacific said this breaches Pacific peoples’ rights to live in a clean environment.

Tau told Pacific Waves the Pacific Ocean is already endangered and Japan’s plan will have devastating impacts.

“We have a nuclear testing legacy in the Pacific. That continues to impact our people, our islands and our way of life, and it impacts the health of our people.

“Having this plan by Japan poses greater risks to the ocean which is already in a declining state.

“The health of our ocean has declined due to human endured stresses and having this could aggravate the current state of our region.

“And also, there are possible threats on the lives of our people as we clearly understand in this part of the world, the ocean is dear to us, it sustains us,” Tau said.

Tau said both the opposition in Vanuatu and the president of the Federated States of Micronesia have expressed serious concerns at Japan’s plans, and the Pacific Islands Secretariat this year has appointed an international expert panel to advise the Forum Secretary-General and national leaders.

The Northern Marianas’ House of Representatives has also condemned Japan’s plan to dump the nuclear waste.

Tau said the plans should not proceed without the Pacific people being able to voice their concerns and being better advised.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/473906/as-japan-builds-nuclear-dumping-facilities-pacific-groups-say-stop

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Plants Showing ‘Unusual Growing Patterns’ as Residents Return

One more spin doctor well at work: despite biologist Tim Mousseau’s many fieldtrips to study very precisely the Fukushima radiation’s effects on flora and fauna, an unknown radiobiologist Carmel Mothersill comes out on Newsweek to minimize the risks of the well existing radiation effects on location stating that ‘there is a low risk to people and pets.’

An artwork titled “FUTABA”, a part of the Futaba Art District project is seen on a wall of a shuttered store on August 31, 2022, in Futaba, Fukushima, Japan.

August 31, 2022

Japan’s Fukushima, the site of the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster, is showing “unusual growing patterns” among vegetation in the area because of the radiation contamination.

In 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant lost power during a tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan’s Pacific coast. This caused systems in three reactors to fail and the cores to overheat. Nuclear material then bored holes in each reactor, causing radiation to leak. This resulted in a series of explosions and a catastrophic nuclear disaster. The event is second only to Chernobyl as the worst nuclear disaster.

Over 300,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, and an exclusion zone had to be created. Slowly, following remediation, areas have opened up again, meaning people can return. Recently, the town of Futaba lifted its evacuation order.

Tim Mousseau, a professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina and a radiation expert, told Newsweek that a “vast region near the power plant” is still “significantly contaminated” but that levels are much lower than they used to be. However, the effects of radiation continue to be seen in the plants in the area, he said.

“There have been a few studies of the plants showing effects of the radiation. For example, it has been shown that Japanese fir trees show unusual growth patterns similar to that observed for pine trees in Chernobyl,” Mousseau said. “Such effects are still open for study, as they are preserved in the growth form of the plant/tree as long as it is still living.”

He continued, “Many areas are still contaminated above levels that most would consider safe for people to live, although most of the region is now relatively safe for short visits.”

Carmel Mothersill, a radiobiologist and the Canada research chair in environmental radiobiology, said that remediation efforts have also affected the area’s vegetation.

“The biggest disruption to the environment was the remediation effort where all vegetation was removed and up to a meter of soil was also taken off to clean it up. But the damage to forests and meadows is terrible,” she said.

“The disruptions to everyday life caused by the accident were permanent for many of the residents, and this is unlikely to change soon for the most affected regions of Fukushima,” Mousseau said. “This is not so much because of persistent radiation per se but also because much of the infrastructure was damaged or destroyed and has deteriorated over the past decade.”

Mousseau also said that the ongoing effects of the contamination and “other human disturbances” remain largely unknown, as “research in the region has dropped off dramatically in the past years because of COVID and Japan’s restrictions on visitors from outside the country.”

“Assuming Japan removes travel restrictions, more research will be conducted,” he said.

While some areas are opening back up to the public, most of the Fukushima area remains evacuated, Mothersill said.

“People are nervous and not happy to go back,” she said. But where people are living, radiation levels are very low, ‘meaning there is a low risk to people and pets.’

https://www.newsweek.com/fukushima-plants-unusal-gorwing-patterns-1738525

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Midnight countdown held as evacuation order on Fukushima town lifted after 11 yrs

One of the organizers of the “okaeri project” event waves his hand after opening a door set up in front of JR Futaba Station in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 30, 2022.

August 30, 2022

FUTABA, Fukushima — People shouted, “Welcome back!” at the stroke of 12:00 a.m. on Aug. 30 to celebrate the lifting of evacuation orders here, 11-plus years after townspeople were barred from returning following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdowns.

The town of Futaba was one area designated as “difficult to return” due to fallout from the plant, which the town cohosts with the neighboring municipality of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. All Futaba residents were forced to evacuate to other parts of Japan after the March 2011 nuclear disaster at the power station run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

After 11 years and five months, the town has been deemed habitable once more, with the establishment of a “Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Base.” And to celebrate, resident volunteers organized the “okaeri (welcome back) project” event in the town center in front of Futaba Station, on the JR Joban Line. A countdown was held, and when the clock struck 12, organizers opened a pink wooden “door of hope” as the people there yelled, “Welcome back!”

About 2,000 candles were lit at the venue on the night of Aug. 29, creating a magical atmosphere. Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa told the crowd, “I will dedicate myself to reconstruction work, so that it (Futaba) will become a town where people will be happy to come back to.”

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220830/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment