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Manual For Survival – A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

Science 6th March 2019 Two decades after Chernobyl, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations (UN) Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation stated that “fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers,” because radiation levels were considered too low to have caused any detectable harm. This conclusion was based on data derived from the atomic bomb survivors life-span study, a program that began in 1950 to document the long-term health effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian scientists vehemently disputed this assessment, estimating Chernobyl-linked fatalities in the hundreds of thousands. The UN agencies later recognized a broader spectrum of Chernobyl-related health effects,
yet the idea that there were no long-term consequences to human health proved hard to dislodge.
The UN-WHO-IAEA assessment was repeated in many venues and was cited by journalists as a scientific consensus. After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, residents in the affected region were told by experts from many of the same international institutions that there would be no direct long-term health effects because their radiation exposure was low.
Because there was no post-Chernobyl equivalent to the atomic bomb survivors life-span study, the argument went, the data on the Japanese survivors remained the gold standard of international nuclear regulations.
The notion that no such data existed, however, was not entirely true as regards Chernobyl. Kate Brown’s meticulously researched Manual for Survival is the first environmental and medical history that recovers decades-long efforts of scientists and doctors in Ukraine and Belarus to document the long-term health impacts from the Chernobyl meltdown.
Unlike the Japanese atomic bomb survivors life-span study, which began 5 years after the exposure, Soviet doctors worked in contaminated areas right after the Chernobyl accident—many of these areas populated by people who didn’t
know that they were exposed to radiation. Over the years, Soviet scientists amassed vast evidence of a broad range of debilitating health effects from low-level radiation, including cancers; anemia; gastrointestinal problems; and severe disorders of the liver, kidneys, thyroid, and other organs.
The individuals who collected these data risked their careers and lives, enduring harassment from regional politicians and Soviet secret police and accumulating radioactive isotopes in their own bodies.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2019/03/06/manual-for-survival/

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March 12, 2019 Posted by | radiation, resources - print, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby groups Foratom and Romatom propagandise for nuclear – at “climate-friendly” event

Nuclear lobby forgot to invite critics to Romania’s EU debate, EU Observer   By PETER TEFFER BRUSSELS, TODAY, 10 Mar 19, 

Some 75 people showed up last month at an event organised at Romania’s EU embassy – its so-called ‘permanent representation’ in Brussels.

The topic was ‘How to create a climate-friendly future in Europe’.  The sponsors were Foratom and Romatom, two nuclear lobby organisations.

Foratom calls itself “the voice of the European nuclear industry” and represents 15 national nuclear associations, including Romatom, which is a lobby group representing Romanian nuclear companies.

Their message was clear.

It was written on a banner next to the speakers’ lectern at the event on 19 February, which said: “Nuclear energy is essential to an EU low-carbon future”.

The nuclear lobby gave its message extra weight by attaching it to the six-month Romanian presidency of the EU Council.

But there was one thing missing – anyone with an even mildly critical view of nuclear energy.  I have not received any invitation and as far as we can see nobody in our office has,” Klaus Rohrig, a green campaigner, told EUobserver afterwards.

Rohrig is the EU climate and energy policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, one of the leading environmental NGOs in the ‘Brussels bubble’.

“It is very likely that one of us would have gone to such an event [if there had been invitations], given its troubling focus on nuclear [energy] in the context of the EU’s long-term strategy,” said Rohrig……

Nuclear energy is the most expensive form of electricity production and has massive environmental costs,” Sebastian Mang, EU climate and energy policy adviser at Greenpeace, another leading NGO, told EUobserver.

But Mang also missed the Romanian EU presidency event because Greenpeace was also not invited.

“When discussing climate change people protecting the environment must have a voice,” said Mang.

EUobserver and a handful of other media were invited, according to a list of participants, which was distributed at the event. The invitation came in an email sent from a Foratom domain name.

But the debate was not publicly announced on the Romanian permanent representation’s website, nor on the websites of Foratom or Romatom.

The participants list – which also included people who registered, but who did not show up – consisted of 32 percent of people working for private companies.

Some 28 percent of registered participants came from one of the member states’ permanent representations in Brussels, while another 12 percent came from national ministries.

Around 13 percent of registrations came from employees of the European Commission.

There were no registrations from civil society representatives, unless one counted the handful of representatives of non-profit nuclear energy research institutes……..

The event was held just two weeks after CEO published a report on lobbying via the temporary EU presidencies, in which it said corporate sponsorship of rotating presidencies “now appears to be standard”.

The presidencies were “a target for lobbies both before and during the presidency, as a way to influence its agenda and to curry favour”, the report said.

EU member states have also use the presidency to promote national industries, the report added.

Climate scenarios

The idea of the nuclear lobby event at the Romanian embassy was to frame nuclear energy as part of the “Solutions for a 2050 carbon-free Europe”, as the meeting was titled……..

The lobby-sponsored event focused on scenarios and modelling, but did not address public attitudes towards nuclear power. ……. https://euobserver.com/institutional/144341

March 10, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Ohio has a lovely new ANTHEM in praise of nuclear power

Ohio bill would create nonprofit to promote advanced nuclear research   Energy News Network, WRITTEN BY, Kathiann M. Kowalski 8Mar19,

Sponsors tout economic development potential, but critics question the benefits and risks to taxpayers.

A group of Ohio lawmakers wants to help make the state a leader in advanced nuclear technology, but some critics are questioning the benefits and potential risks to taxpayers under a new bill to promote research and development.

Ohio House Rep. Dick Stein, R-Norwalk, introduced the Advanced Nuclear Technology Helping Energize Mankind (ANTHEM) Act last week. The bill would set up a nonprofit Ohio nuclear development authority to promote advanced nuclear reactor technology, nuclear waste reduction, isotope extraction and related activities. It has 17 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

“The intent is to move the ball forward and make Ohio a leader in advanced reactor technology,” Stein said.

Nuclear watchdogs, though, said the bill would mostly benefit investors while shifting risk to the state. And it promotes pie-in-the-sky goals that distract and divert attention from more promising climate solutions, they said.

“HB 104 comingles military and civilian nuclear research and technology, would reprocess high-level radioactive waste in Ohio, and would allow for the commercial disposal of radioactive waste in our state, all in one poorly written package,” said Patricia Marida, chair of the Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear Free Committee.

……….The new entity created under the legislation would “have control in setting rules and writing standards” for activities related to advanced nuclear research, Stein said. The extent and terms would depend on how much authority the federal government was willing to delegate to the state.

Beyond that, a for-profit “consortium” company would be set up under the bill to carry out or fund research and development activities. The company’s initial offering would be 20 million shares of common stock at $50 per share.

………the bill would let the authority spend public money for its “essential governmental function and matters of public necessity.” And it could also acquire private property and use eminent domain. If contamination occurred on property owned by the state, it might be responsible for clean-up costs if other parties failed to pay or went bankrupt.

Beyond that, the bill would allow tax credits ranging up to 35 percent for investors in the company.

Turning a profit?

“If I was going to make investments anyway, I would look at it as being able to defer some of my tax costs,” said John Paul Morrow, a senior policy consultant for eGeneration Foundation, which would have a role in implementing the legislation. Ohio Secretary of State records show it’s a registered trade name for the Energy From Thorium Foundation. The nonprofit promotes scientific research into thorium for nuclear energy and is based in Cleveland.

The eGeneration Foundation’s website focuses more on the development of medical isotopes than on energy in its description of a proposed for-profit corporation and economic development authority similar to those outlined in HB 104. …….

The website for eGeneration describes a molten salt reactor, similar to a project operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory back in the 1960s…….

“The idea that advanced reactors are going to save the day by helping to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050 is not realistic,” said Edwin Lyman, acting director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Nuclear Safety Project.

Most sources agree that commercial power plants with the new designs likely won’t be ready until the 2030s. And significant deployment likely won’t happen until at least the 2040s.

Bill sponsor Stein acknowledged it will be a while before advanced nuclear reactors are ready for the commercial energy market. He referred to the medical isotope angle as a way to provide revenue along the way.

Critics wonder why private or public investors would invest in speculative nuclear technology, as opposed to renewable energy, battery storage, electric vehicles or other technology that could produce profits in a shorter time frame.

“The commercial feasibility of any of this stuff is so far off in the future, it doesn’t represent a good use of our [research and development] resources,” said Tim Judson at the Nuclear Information & Resource Service.

He also worries about the bill’s provisions promoting recycling of high-level nuclear waste. Stein suggested that energy from spent fuel rods and retired nuclear plants “would power the United States for 700 to 900 years.”

“You’re uncorking the genie bottle on nuclear waste by reprocessing the irradiated fuel,” Judson said. “It’s just a really, really dirty process.” https://energynews.us/2019/03/08/midwest/ohio-bill-would-create-nonprofit-to-promote-advanced-nuclear-research/

March 9, 2019 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. army wants risky small modular nuclear reactors

The Army wants mobile nuclear reactors for FOBs, but some scientists say that’s ‘naive’, Army Times Todd South  3 Marc 19, The Army wants to bring back mobile nuclear reactors to power forward bases and is asking industry how to make that happen.

March 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, spinbuster, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

2020 Olympics A grand propaganda effort – to minimise the reality of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns

As we prepare for the eighth remembrance of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, Fairewinds is ever mindful of what is currently happening in Japan.

There has never been a roadmap for Japan to extricate itself from the radioactive multi-headed serpentine Hydra curse that has been created in an underfunded, unsuccessful attempt to clean-up the ongoing spread of migrating radioactivity from Fukushima. Rather than focus its attention on mitigating the radioactive exposure to Japan’s civilians, the government of Japan has sought instead to redirect world attention to the 2020 Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo.

Truthfully, a situation as overwhelming as Fukushima can exist in every location in the world that uses nuclear power to produce electricity. The triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi are the worst industrial catastrophe that humankind has ever created.

Prior to Fukushima, the atomic power industry never envisioned a disaster of this magnitude anywhere in the world. Worldwide, the proponents and operators of nuclear power plants still are not taking adequate steps to protect against disasters of the magnitude of Fukushima!……….

……Are the Japanese government and the IAEA protecting the nuclear industry and not the people of Japan by claiming that Fukushima is stable when it is not? Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen outlines major inconsistencies and double-speak by the IAEA, Japanese Government, and TEPCO claiming that the Fukushima accident is over. Dynamic versus static equilibrium, escalated dose exposures to the Japanese children and nuclear workers, and the blending of radioactive materials with non-contaminated material and spreading this contaminated ash throughout Japan are only a small part of this ongoing nuclear tragedy.

Later in 2013, Japan pressed the International Olympic Committee and bribed some of its members to accept the Olympics in 2020 according to an Associated Press article February 18, 2019 by Journalist Haruka Nuga.

Members of the JOC executive board are up for re-election this summer. There is speculation Takeda…[ Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for his part in an alleged bribery scandal] will not run, or could be replaced. French investigators believe he may have helped Tokyo win the 2020 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee.

Takeda has been JOC president since 2001. He is also a powerful IOC member and the head of its marketing commission. He has not stepped aside from either position while the IOC’s ethics committee investigates.

…French authorities suspect that about $2 million paid by the Tokyo bid committee — headed by Takeda — to a Singapore consulting company, Black Tidings, found its way to some IOC members in 2013 when Tokyo won the vote over bids from Istanbul and Madrid… Takeda last month acknowledged he signed off on the payments but denied corruption allegations. An internal report in 2016 by the Japanese Olympic Committee essentially cleared Takeda of wrongdoing.

Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to organize the Olympics. Games costs are difficult to track, but the city of Tokyo appears to be picking up at least half the bill.

Much of Japan’s focus has been to show that the Fukushima area is safe and has recovered from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the meltdowns at three nuclear reactors.

Here is what I said in a video on Fairewinds website in 2013, when the original Tokyo Olympic announcement was made.

I think hosting the Olympics in 2020 is an attempt by the Japanese to change the topic. I don’t think people around the world are going to care until 2020 approaches. There is a seven-year window for the Japanese government to work to make Tokyo a showcase for the entire world to view. I think the Japanese government wanted to host the Olympics to improve the morale of the people of Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Unfortunately, it’s taking people’s attention off of the true cost of the accident, in terms of both money and public health.

Placing the Olympics in Tokyo was and still is a ploy to minimize the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns and to take the public’s attention away from a pressing emergency that still needs resolution for the health and safety of the people of Japan.

Fairewinds Energy Education will keep you informed with Part 2, at fairewinds.org. https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/atomic-balm-part-1-prime-minister-abe-uses-the-tokyo-olympics-as-snake-oil-cure-for-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-meltdowns

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Trump administration accepting the greedy “radiation is good for you” group

These assertions stand scientific consensus on its head. Most experts say to the contrary that even low doses of radiation cause cell damage that years later can promote uncontrolled cell growth and replication, and that children and fetuses are particularly susceptible to harm. That seven-decade-old view was reaffirmed as recently as last April in a study by a congressionally chartered nonprofit organization, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement.

The study, overseen by a dozen experts from the government, academia, and industry, and funded by the NRC, considered 29 contemporary scientific studies of the effects of low-dose radiation in reaffirming that even low-level radiation should be avoided to the extent possible.

RADIATION IS GOOD FOR YOU? THE FRINGE VIEWPOINT GAINS GROUND IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, https://publicintegrity.org/national-security/radiation-is-good-for-you-the-heretical-view-gains-ground-under-trump/The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is actively considering claims that low-dose radiation protections should be lifted because exposures make you healthier, a potential boon to radiation-related industries. 

Since World War II, virtually every American business where radiation is present – hospital emergency rooms and cancer wards, uranium mines, nuclear power plants, and others – has operated under rules generally requiring that exposures be kept as low as possible. The rules are based on a widely-accepted scientific dicta that even small amounts of extra radiation can be harmful to human health.

Following those rules, though, is costly and often cumbersome, and so the requirement for low-dose radiation protections – known as the ALARA standard for “as low as reasonably achievable” – has long been annoying to a large swath of American industry. Estimates of the costs associated with these protections run into the billions of dollars.

Until the Trump era, opponents of the rules have gotten little traction in trying to upend low-dose radiation protections – such as isolation units, elaborate shielding, specialized air cleaners, and elaborate worker training — in federal regulations. But proposed relaxations have been percolating in recent months, courtesy of a little-known advocacy group called Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information, or SARI.

Members of the group, which claims its ideas have been wrongly dismissed and belittled by mainstream scientists, subscribe to a minority theory known as “hormesis.” It defies conventional wisdom by holding that damaging things that are dangerous in high doses might actually be beneficial to human health in small doses.

Despite swimming against the tide in the past, one of the group’s members has just been appointed to head a Radiation Advisory Panel at the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps set federal standards for radiation doses received by the public and by workers. And several of its recommendations to ease radiation protections are presently under active consideration by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

SARI’s members typically have more day-to-day connections to radiation than others, and potentially more influence: They have held jobs connected to radiation protection at the EPA, the Department of Labor, the Energy Department and its sub-agency responsible for building nuclear weapons at nine factories across the country. Practitioners of nuclear medicine, people employed in the nuclear industry, and professors who teach nuclear medicine or industrial hygiene also populate SARI.

The NRC’s consideration of the SARI views got started when three members of the group petitioned it in 2015 to abandon its current approach and accept that radiation in low doses is not only benign, but improves health. That was two years after SARI’s founding by industry officials trying to tamp down public concerns about the radiation that spilled from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The NRC took the petitions seriously. Its staff created a working group to study the issue, and insiders now say that work is done. According to Scott Burnell, an NRC spokesman, the five members of the commission as a result will take up the issue this spring. Continue reading

February 28, 2019 Posted by | politics, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | 1 Comment

‘Ionising radiation’ not so bad’ – subtle cover-up of the dangers, by Japan’s Centre for Environmental Creation

Teaching about radiation after Fukushima, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Maxime Polleri, February 26, 2019 ……..In the aftermath of the Fukushima meltdowns, which triggered a released of radioactive pollutants, the Japanese state initially decided to increase the mandatory evacuation trigger from 1 millisievert of radiation exposure per year to 20 millisieverts per year. In other words, the public was forced to accept a new threshold of safety. While this policy caused much scientific and public controversy, 20 millisieverts per year remains the benchmark for what is considered safe in Fukushima. Places like the Centre for Environmental Creation downplay the controversy of a raised threshold of exposure.

Situated in the town of Miharu and opened in July 2016, the center was established by the prefecture of Fukushima, with the financial support of the Japanese government, to conduct research and provide education on radioactive contamination. The center is one of several government-sponsored revitalization projects aimed at rebuilding the trust of people living in Fukushima. Mostly visited by young families, it represents a new approach to risk communication. As a technical advisor explained to me, this approach aims to “deepen the understanding of children about radiation” by allowing visitors to experience information firsthand through interactive games, fun activities, and cute presentations.

Our Friend the Atom (Tomorrow Land) – Walt Disney Treasures

Past efforts to present nuclear science in appealing ways have often blended education with propaganda. The 1957 Disney TV episode Our Friend the Atomis a perfect example of this. What are the dangers of resorting to such forms of explanations in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster? In 2015 and 2017, I spent a total of 14 months in Japan examining the public’s interactive experience at state-sponsored centers and public activities that explain radiation. I found that while the information on radiation is easy to understand, many aspects of its hazards are carefully concealed. In particular, the government’s educational approach shifts the post-Fukushima Japanese public’s attention away from manmade danger and toward a vision of naturalness, technological amusement, and scientific amazement. In doing so, this approach downplays the risk inherent to residual radioactivity in Fukushima.

The naturalness of radiation. One way to neutralize the perceived harmfulness of radiation is to make the phenomenon appear as natural as possible, by emphasizing the radioactivity coming from natural sources. At the Centre for Environmental Creation, one of the most popular attractions is an enormous spherical theater, where visitors are bombarded with sounds and images in a 360-degree multisensory experience that describes radiation as a natural part of daily life. “It can be found everywhere! From the sun’s ray to the mineral in the earth,” claims the theater’s narrator. “Without radiation, no life would exist on Earth!” After these explanations, an enormous Boeing passes above theatergoers’ heads in the cinematic sky, and the amount of radiation exposure received during an intercontinental flight is said to be higher than the level of radiation found in Fukushima. Their necks strained upward, visitors mumble words of apparent relief.

What the theater fails to explain, however, is that there is nothing natural about the radioactive isotopes released during the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and that background radiation has little to do with the hazards of breathing or swallowing fission products—which are not rays, but dust-like particles. For instance, strontium 90, if inhaled or ingested, mimics calcium to enter an individual’s bone marrow and cause lifelong radiation exposure. This exposure can cause mutations in living cells—a permanent alteration that can lead to cancers, genetic problems, or immune disorders.

It’s all fun and games. Information about radiation is often promoted through an enjoyable experience that conceals disturbing aspects of the phenomenon. In front of a giant interactive screen, for example, children can move their bodies to “block” radiation. By selecting the proper material, they can block either radioactive alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays. They pretend that their bodies are thick metal plates used to hamper harmful external exposure. By doing so, they collect points, and at the end of the game, the child with the highest score wins.

By transforming radiation protection into a game that focuses on blocking external radiation, children do not learn of the risk of internal contamination from radioactive particles such as cesium 137, which was released in significant amounts by the Fukushima disaster. If internalized, cesium 137 gets distributed throughout the body, irradiating soft tissues such as muscles and ovaries. And because the children’s game blocks radiation in “real time,” there is no mention of any delayed health effects of radiation exposure, such as potential harmful genetic changes.

At the Decontamination Info Plaza, the government promotes similar activities. Situated in the city of Fukushima, the Plaza was established in January 2012 as a joint program between the prefecture of Fukushima and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. The Plaza’s purpose is to provide information about radiation in general, as well as explanations about monitoring methods, workshops on decontamination, and advice on contaminated sites. Basic information about radiation is presented to the public in a very accessible, visual, and interactive form…….

Radiation is our friend! A third way to downplay the perception of radiation danger is to link radiation with the wonders of science and technology. This was particularly apparent during an April 2016 open house organized by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan’s leading radiological institute, which is situated in Chiba, east of Tokyo. Titled “I Want to Know More! What Can You Do with Radiation?” the public fair was a popular event at which visitors could see the institute’s research facilities, the latest PET scan technology for medical imaging, and the cyclotrons used in nuclear medicine to produce radioisotopes. A special elevator led down to the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator, situated in an impressive subterranean facility.

……..At this institute, manmade radiation was effectively linked to technologies that sustain life. For instance, the open house showed how the radiation-related devices at the institute produce particle therapies to treat cancer.

While there was nothing inaccurate about the center’s explanations of radiation as a medical treatment, the information presented was unrelated to the dangers faced during a nuclear disaster. If visitors wanted to hear more about such risks, they had to visit the station called “Impact of Fukushima.” The small station was, however, much less appealing than the other venues. It consisted of four small posters that focused on the decontamination process without explaining the adverse health effects of exposure to manmade radioisotopes.

… Radiation was emphasized as a useful agent that could penetrate the body and kill harmful tumors, as was demonstrated on medical dummies during the event. In the end, by heavily framing radiation information around a beacon of technological wonder, the public opening day glossed over the danger of radioactive contamination and selectively amplified the beneficial aspects of radiation.

Education vs. propaganda. In interviews that I conducted with officials and technical advisors employed at the aforementioned places, I was told that Fukushima is afflicted by “harmful rumors” surrounding the real extent of radiation harm and that this misunderstanding stems from public ignorance of radiological science. It is in this context that government-sanctioned approaches aim to provide “basic information” that will help citizens fear radiation in an “appropriate way,” thereby creating an environment in which people feel they can safely return to Fukushima. While this is a worthy endeavor, the government’s approach emphasizes specific understandings of radioactivity that overshadow the particular risks introduced by manmade radioactive pollutants resulting from a nuclear accident……….. https://thebulletin.org/2019/02/teaching-about-radiation-after-fukushima/

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

Japanese Govt Olympic Games campaign to “showcase” Fukushima’s recovery is not really working

Reconstruction Olympics’ theme said not to have gathered momentum https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/27/national/reconstruction-olympics-theme-said-not-gathered-momentum/#.XHcN_IkzbGg KYODO   Half of 42 municipalities in northeastern Japan hit by a massive earthquake in 2011 said the public is not fully aware of the government’s efforts to showcase the region’s recovery from the disaster through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a Kyodo News survey showed Wednesday.

The heads of 21 local governments in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures said in the survey that the “reconstruction Olympics” theme has yet to fully catch on among the public.

Asked whether the slogan has gained public attention, two mayors said “it has not” while 19 mayors said “it mostly has not.” Eighteen said “it has a little” and two said “it has.” The remaining municipality — the Fukushima city of Soma — did not answer.

“The phrase ‘reconstruction Olympics’ was thought up but no substantial progress has been made and the affected areas feel left behind,” said an official of the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture. “We have limited manpower and cannot spare personnel for Olympic events.”

“The sporting event will be held under the banner of the ‘reconstruction Olympics’ but venues are centered on Tokyo,” said an official of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture.

The Tokyo Organising Committee has promoted projects involving the disaster-stricken areas, such as holding baseball and softball games in Fukushima and starting the Japan leg of the Olympic torch relay in the prefecture, which was hit by a nuclear crisis in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Before the relay, the flame will be displayed in the three northeastern prefectures. The Fukushima city of Iwaki expressed appreciation over the move to highlight the recovery of the affected areas in the Summer Olympics. “Fukushima will be hosting some games and the torch relay will start here. We have been given certain roles to play,” a city official said.

Asked what they expect from the Tokyo Games in a multiple-choice question, the biggest group, of 36 mayors, picked “promoting our progress toward recovery,” while 20 mayors, mainly from Fukushima, chose “overcoming reputational damage.”

“We want to use the Olympics as a chance to regain sales channels for our farm products,” said an official of the Fukushima town of Namie.

Hisashi Sanada, a professor of the anthropology of sport and Olympic history at the University of Tsukuba, said efforts by the central government and the organizing committee to promote reconstruction through the sporting event were “not enough.”

“The state needs to explain in detail to municipalities what kind of support it can offer, and the local governments should also rack their brains about how to link (the Olympics) to regional development,” Sanada said.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Subtle “education” in Japan, to downplay the risks of ionising radiation

Disney Educational Video Our Friend, the Atom (1957)

Teaching about radiation after FukushimaBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Maxime Polleri, February 26, 2019 “…………..Ultimately, I have doubts about these education programs – [ Centre for Environmental Creation, Japan] . They are selective in their nature, making only certain aspects of radiation tangible through their public activities, while rarely explaining in detail the dangers of adverse health effects linked with residual radioactivity. From my viewpoint, their purpose seems to be dual: While they aim to shed light on the phenomenon of radiation, they are also covertly looking to defuse the threat of widespread societal unrest, to reclaim political control and economic stability, and to pacify a fearful public—and in ways that are perhaps more beneficial to the state than to affected individuals.

In a community where dangerous residual radioactivity has become a public everyday concern, coming to grips with serious contamination requires more education than ever before. The important word here is education. Not state propaganda disguised as education. There is a fine line between these two, but it is a line that needs to be clearly drawn. While Japanese state approaches are innovative in their interactivity and freedom from jargon, they are less so in their content.

I strongly agree that the existence of state-sponsored educational programs is better than to simply ignore radioactive risk. But mobilizing specific explanations that downplay the real risk faced by citizens is not sustainable. Doing so will reproduce the ignorance, secrecy, and values that led to this disaster. Public well-being, democracy, and science cannot thrive in such context. An unbiased effort to educate people about the specific hazards of radioactive contamination, and correct misunderstandings about the risk of radiation exposure, does not have to be delivered in a dry and clinical manner. It can be as fun and engaging as anything the Japanese centers, exhibits, and public days are already doing.

There is one scene from my time in Japan that I cannot forget: the unadulterated smile of the happy child who had won the contest of blocking radiation. While the kid had learned much about radiation, he had learned little about the complexity of radiation hazards. I could not help thinking of Major Kong straddling the bomb in the film Dr. Strangelove, enjoying the nuclear ride without thinking about it too much, shouting “Yee Haw!” at the top of his lungs. https://thebulletin.org/2019/02/teaching-about-radiation-after-fukushima/

February 27, 2019 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

2020 Olympic Games – a promotion for the nuclear industry? But they’re not getting many volunteers

Disaster-hit Fukushima still short of 2020 Games volunteers, Japan Today Feb. 24  FUKUSHIMA  Fukushima Prefecture is still well short of its target for recruiting volunteers to help it stage some events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics — a setback to its efforts to showcase its recovery from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

With the deadline for recruitment approaching at the end of this month, the northeastern prefecture, which is to host several softball and baseball games, was only a third of the way to its target of 1,500 volunteers.

Of the 503 people who had applied as of early February, 70 percent were in their 40s or above, with much lower participation from those in their teens and 20s, according to the prefecture.

Prefectural officials said the low number of applicants may be because the schedules for most of the games have yet to be set, while also acknowledging that promotion efforts have barely paid off.

One of the main themes of the Tokyo games is to demonstrate Japan’s reconstruction from the 2011 disasters and Fukushima, one of the hardest-hit areas, wants to use the opportunity to show the progress it has made and convey a message of gratitude for support. It also hopes to promote inbound tourism.

The prefecture has increased events for recruiting volunteers at company offices and colleges, while seeking to reassure potential volunteers that they can always change their minds later and withdraw their applications……..

“Whenever the opportunity arises, I want to call out for more volunteers by stressing how attractive (the job) is,” said Takahiro Sato, head of the prefecture’s Olympic and Paralympic promotion office.  https://japantoday.com/category/sports/disaster-hit-fukushima-still-short-of-2020-games-volunteers

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Nuclear energy just IS NOT clean energy

Nuclear energy is not the same as clean energy https://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/illinois-clean-energy-policy-nuclear-energy/  Gail Snyder, board president, Nuclear Energy Information Service , 21 Feb 19“……  While legislation advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency is to be applauded, the $2.3 billion bailout to three privately owned Exelon nuclear energy facilities should be evaluated for its costs and the impact on expanding renewable energy. Of course, legislators should do so promptly, as it seems Exelon did so well with their last bailout that they are going to come back for another.

As energy legislation hits Springfield again, the public will be inundated with the terms “clean,” “renewable,” “green,” “low carbon,” “carbon neutral,” “carbon free,” “non-carbon,” and “net-zero emissions.” These terms will be used interchangeably, which only serves to confuse this fact: Nuclear waste and radioactive releases are not part of the calculus when the nuclear industry and others try to sell nuclear energy as “clean.” It is not.

Legislation that speaks only to “clean” as it relates to managing carbon emissions, without considering the 10,000 tons of nuclear waste in Illinois (the most nuclear waste of any state) is misleading. Also, consideration of the entire nuclear fuel cycle and storage of nuclear waste is carbon- intensive, which is not part of the “clean” calculus either.

We would also like to see Illinois legislators ‘step in’ again on energy policy, but this time with both the “carbon footprint” and the “nuclear footprint” included.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

UK nuclear lobby tries to involve children, as it promotes Hinkley project

Bridgwater Mercury 14th Feb 2019 , MORE than 70 children from local primary schools headed to Hinkley C last week for the official naming ceremony of three enormous tunnel boring machines.

The competition gave 215 primary schools from across Somerset the
opportunity to name the three 1,200 tonne tunnel boring machines that will
soon begin the construction of the new power station’s water inlet and
outfall tunnels. After arriving safely at the construction site by sea and
road, the trio of tunnelling machines will soon be removing 370,000 cubic
metres of earth to enable 3.3 kilometres of tunnels to be built underneath
the seabed. The tunnels will carry seawater to cool the two reactors, the
first of which will see first operation in 2025.
ttps://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/17433214.huge-hinkley-c-tunnel-boring-machines-named-after-inspirational-women/

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion: American Association for the Advancement of Science deceived by ITER propagandists

ITER Promoters Pull Wool Over Eyes of AAAS  http://news.newenergytimes.net/2019/02/14/iter-promoters-pull-wool-over-eyes-of-aaas/Feb. 14, 2019 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Three of the four panelists who will speak on Friday, Feb. 15, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting have contributed to the worldwide misrepresentation of the mission and design of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The panelists will be part of a workshop that is financially sponsored by the ITER Organization.

One of the panelists will be science journalist Daniel Clery, who works for the Association’s magazine Science. Clery has, almost certainly unknowingly, helped promote the ITER fusion deception, now in its second decade. Hiding the power that the ITER reactor is designed to use and employing deceptive wording, fusion representatives have greatly exaggerated the expected power output of the reactor. In order to produce fusion particles of 500 MW, according to its design, ITER will require at least 300 MW of electricity. That’s not what Clery told readers in his Nov. 19, 2015, article in Science:

The ITER project aims to show that nuclear fusion—the power source of the sun and stars—is technically feasible as a source of energy. Despite more than 60 years of work, researchers have failed to achieve a fusion reaction that produces more energy than it consumes. ITER, with a doughnut-shaped “tokamak ” reaction chamber able to contain 840 cubic meters of superheated hydrogen gas, or plasma, is the biggest attempt so far and is predicted to produce at least 500 megawatts of power from a 50 megawatt input.

Clery has a degree in theoretical physics. Either the ITER promoters fooled him, or he was an active participant in the deception. Neither option is favorable for Clery. In either case, he certainly was not alone.

Fusion representatives have also misled the public into thinking that the reactor is designed for a specific overall power gain when, in fact, the expected gain applies to only one part of the reactor: the plasma heating system. But nowhere in his article does Clery inform readers that his comparison of 500 MW out and 50 MW in applies only to the plasma. Nowhere in his article does he explain to readers that his 500/50 comparison did not apply to the overall reactor. Nowhere in his article does he explain to readers that the reactor, to get 500 MW out, will require 300 MW in.

To the contrary, everything about Clery’s article was written as if he intended to communicate to readers that the overall reactor is designed for a 500 MW output with only a 50 MW input.

Despite all of this, Clery has a tiny bit of wiggle room to claim that he was not deceived. He could say that, because his paragraph uses the phrase “a fusion reaction,” it provides evidence that he knew that the 500/50 values applied only to the plasma, not to the overall reactor. But that would create an even greater problem for Clery: All other statements he made in his article create a false impression about the mission and design capacity of the reactor.

Clery’s article perpetuated the three false and misleading claims about ITER: 1) The ITER reactor, as a system, is designed to produce 500 MW of net thermal power, 2) The ITER reactor is designed to consume only 50 MW of power, and 3) The ITER reactor, as a system, is designed to produce 10 times the power it is designed to consume.

Another presenter at the Friday workshop will be Bernard Bigot, the director-general of the ITER Organization. Bigot holds the ultimate responsibility for the false and misleading claims on the ITER Organization Web site, some of which he has corrected since New Energy Times began publishing the results of this long-running investigation. Last year, Bigot used misleading language to create false impressions about ITER and the JET reactor, its predecessor, while testifying before Congress. The ITER Organization corrected more of the false statements on its Web site less than 24 hours after New Energy Times published a report on Bigot’s testimony.

Another panelist at the ITER-sponsored AAAS workshop will be Ned Sauthoff, the director of the U.S. ITER project office at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Sauthoff, as a video recording of a 2014 congressional hearing shows, successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of members of Congress. More news on that story is on the way.

The fourth panelist will be Mickey Wade, the director of Advanced Fusion Systems at General Atomics, an ITER component supplier. In his congressional testimony last year, Wade was the only witness on that panel to accurately and honestly report ITER’s primary mission and design.

“ITER’s primary technical goal is to produce plasmas that produce 10 times more fusion power than is being injected into the plasma from external means,” Wade said.

The AAAS board of directors includes Steven Chu, a former United States Secretary of Energy and current member of the board of advisors for energy research company First Light Fusion. That company published deceptive fusion power claims in a Feb. 12, 2019, press release.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster, technology | 1 Comment

Energy efficiency, renewables, battery storage race ahead, as Bill Gates seeks tax-payer funds for chimera of “small modular nuclear reactors”

Consumers, businesses and utilities all win with this new distributed clean utility because renewables plus efficiency and batteries is available as a very resilient, near-zero carbon solution to providing power when and where it’s needed at the lowest cost. As these technologies continue to scale, they continue to experience steep cost declines, making the idea of a nuclear alternative vanishingly unrealistic.

Tens of billions of dollars have been spent developing different nuclear power plant designs, and even with enormous government subsidies and guarantees, corporations and utilities do not want to invest in nuclear power. Gates is a large investor in a nuclear firm, Terrapower, which hopes to build a prototype by 2030. If this target is achieved and a prototype is demonstrated by 2030, it could move toward commercial deployment in the 2030s. But we cannot afford to wait 15 or 20 years to scale very-low-carbon energy — and, fortunately, we don’t need to.

Renewable energy has more than doubled in the last decade to provide 20 percent of U.S. electricity, as much as nuclear.

Bill Gates’ quixotic quest to revive nuclear power https://www.greenbiz.com/article/bill-gates-quixotic-quest-revive-nuclear-power,Greg Kats, February 7, 2019  Bill Gates has been lobbying Congress to secure federal financial support for nuclear power and for a nuclear company in which he is a large investor. This plea for federal largesse from a decabillionaire illustrates why further nuclear subsidies make no sense.

Nuclear power is already a heavily subsidized 60-year-old industry with over half a trillion dollars invested in several hundred large operating nuclear plants, including 99 in the United States. The cost of nuclear power has soared while the cost for other low-carbon power options — including wind, solar, batteries and energy efficiency — have plunged. This is why no U.S. utilities want to build nuclear plants unless they can get large additional subsidies.

Gates’ rationale for nuclear power can be summarized as follows: Given the reality and gravity of climate change, nuclear provides the only large-scale, very-low-carbon electricity source that cost-effectively can provide power at scale when needed. Other very-low-carbon options, such as wind and solar power, batteries and energy efficiency, cannot reliably provide power when needed — especially on hot summer afternoons when air conditioning loads are large.

This same argument was made by nuclear advocates 30 years ago and is even less true today. Continue reading

February 16, 2019 Posted by | renewable, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“New nukes” company Terrestrial Energy sets up a new group to promote its (as yet non-existent) molten salt nuclear reactors.

Terrestrial Energy Forms Nuclear Innovation Working Group to Support IMSR Power Plant Development

– Bruce Power, Michael Rencheck, President and CEO — Burns & McDonnell, Glenn Neises, Nuclear Director — SNC-Lavalin, EVP and Candu Energy, President and CEO, William (Bill) A. Fox III, — Corporate Risk Associates Limited, Jasbir Sidhu, CEO — Kinectrics, David Harris, President and CEO — Laker Energy Products, Christopher Hughes, President and CEO — Promation, Mark Zimny, President and CEO — Sargent & Lundy, Michael J. Knaszak, Senior Vice President and Project Director

February 14, 2019 Posted by | Canada, spinbuster | Leave a comment