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Takahama nuclear reactor in Fukui halted after alert goes off

 https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/01/30/national/takahama-nuclear-plant-halt/ 30 Jan 23, FUKUI – A reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture was automatically halted Monday after an alert went off warning of a rapid decrease in the number of neutrons within the unit, the complex’s regulator and operator said.

The No. 4 reactor was halted at 3:21 p.m., the Osaka-based utility said, adding that there has been no indication of the incident causing environmental contamination. The reactor’s cooling function is normal, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The No. 4 reactor restarted in November after being shut down for routine inspections.

The seaside plant has four reactors and faces the Sea of Japan.

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January 31, 2023 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Can Talks with China about Nuclear Weapons Be Constructive?

January 26, 2023 Gregory Kulacki  https://blog.ucsusa.org/gregory-kulacki/can-talks-with-china-about-nuclear-weapons-be-constructive/

Politico reported US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is “under pressure” to “raise administration concerns” about the size of China’s nuclear arsenal when he travels to Beijing in early February.

Constructive conversations on nuclear weapons policy are urgently needed. Both governments are upgrading their nuclear capabilities. Chinese military planners worry about US preparations to use nuclear weapons first to forestall defeat in a conventional war, as well as US efforts to undermine China’s ability to retaliate. US military planners are concerned about the construction of new Chinese missile silos, which will significantly increase the probability and magnitude of Chinese nuclear retaliation if the United States uses nuclear weapons first.

The nuclear aspect of what some US observers describe as a new Cold War with China is different than the US nuclear contest with the Soviet Union. It’s not about numbers. Chinese leaders don’t express interest in numerical parity. President Biden’s remarks on China’s nuclear weapons policy suggest he thinks they do. That’s unfortunate. If a desired outcome of Blinken’s visit is to start a dialogue on nuclear weapons, he will need to focus less on the numbers and more on why Chinese leaders built the silos.

What Chinese leaders want – what they have wanted since they decided to develop nuclear weapons in 1955 – is to be able to use conventional military force without undue concern the United States will use nuclear weapons to stop them. Being able to credibly threaten to use nuclear weapons to prevent or defeat Chinese conventional military initiatives has been a cornerstone of US defense policy in East Asia since the Korean War.

Chinese efforts to negate US first use threats are an important part of Chinese nuclear strategy. Chinese leaders believe if they can convince US decision-makers they will retaliate, then they can safely ignore US threats to use nuclear weapons first.

Chinese military planners have always been concerned their comparatively small nuclear force could tempt US decision makers to try to wipe it out at the beginning of a war. Continued US investment in ballistic missile defense creates additional doubt about US respect for China’s ability to retaliate.

The bulk of China’s current nuclear force consists of missiles launched from trucks. Recent technological advances increase the possibility the United States could destroy or disable those missiles with conventional munitions. Switching to silos makes that far less likely. 

Current US projections of a large increase in the size of China’s nuclear force assume the new silos are an addition, not a replacement. They also assume everyone of those silos will contain a new missile and every one of those missiles will carry multiple warheads. But China does not need that many warheads to achieve its strategic objective.  Even if the silos sit empty, US military planners must assume they’re not, and US decision-makers must assume China can retaliate if the United States uses nuclear weapons first.

If Secretary Blinken’s only objective is to talk about numbers, his Chinese interlocutor can tell China’s leaders their decision to build the silos was a strategic success. It is hard to see how that makes the United States or its Asian allies safer. 

It would be wiser if Blinken said the United States no longer needs to threaten to use nuclear weapons first to keep the peace. Instead of handing Chinese leaders a strategic victory, he would convey a surprising US confidence in its conventional forces. That’s more likely to restrain Chinese leaders than what they continue to see as empty US threats to start a nuclear war; threats revolutionary leader Mao Zedong famously described as a “paper tiger.”

As paradoxical as it may seem to a US strategic culture obsessed with size, forgoing the option to use nuclear weapons first may be the best way to get Chinese leaders to respect the ability of the United States to defend its allies, and to begin a constructive conversation about nuclear weapons.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | China, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s Plan To Discharge Water From Fukushima Nuclear Plant Faces Pacific Opposition

  By BenarNews, By Stephen Wright

Officials from Pacific island nations will meet Japan’s prime minister in March in an effort to halt the planned release of water from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, a regional leader said.

Plans to dispose of Fukushima water over four decades are a source of tension between Japan and Pacific island nations and a possible complication for the efforts of the United States and its allies to show a renewed commitment to the Pacific region as China’s influence grows.

The planned discharges “are a very serious issue that our leaders have accepted must be stopped at all costs,” Henry Puna, secretary-general of the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum, said Thursday at a press conference in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.

The Japanese government’s timetable for disposal of Fukushima water indicates that releases could begin as soon as April this year – part of an effort to decommission the stricken power station over several decades. Water contaminated by the nuclear reactors damaged in a 2011 tsunami is stored in dozens of large tanks at the coastal Fukushima plant.  

Japan’s method involves putting the contaminated water through a purification process known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System, which it says will reduce all radioactive elements except tritium to below regulatory levels. The treated water would then be diluted by more than 100 times to reduce the level of tritium – radioactive hydrogen used to create glow-in-the-dark lighting and signs……………………………

Data doubts

Five scientists working with the Pacific Islands Forum last week criticized the quality of data they had received from Tokyo Electric on the treated water in the tanks and expressed doubts about how well the purification process works.

Over more than four years, only a quarter of tanks had been tested for radiation, and testing rarely covered more than nine types of radiation out of 64 types that should be tested for, said the five scientists, who include Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s senior scientist Ken Buesseler.

“The accident is not over; this is not normal operations for a reactor. Therefore, extraordinary efforts should be made to prove operations are safe and will not cause harm to the environment,” the scientists’ presentation said.

The Pacific Islands Forum has described the scientists as independent nuclear experts. The forum’s secretariat didn’t respond to a question about whether the scientists are compensated for their work with the forum. 

Nigel Marks, a materials scientist at Australia’s Curtin University and former nuclear reactor engineer, who is not advising the forum, said he is sympathetic to concerns that Tokyo Electric’s data could be more complete.

“But at the same time some recognition for Japan’s unique situation must be acknowledged,” he said. “The authorities have done their very best that technology allows. Eventually they reach a point where there is too much water to store.”

Puna said the Pacific islands delegation would meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida around March 7. They want a delay in water releases, at the very least, while more research is carried out, he said.

“There are serious gaps in the scientific evidence on the safety or otherwise of the proposed release,” Puna said. “I am pleased that the Japanese prime minister has finally agreed to meet with a high-level delegation from our region.” 

Decades of Fukushima water discharges, Puna said, could “damage our livelihoods, our fisheries livelihoods, our livelihood as people who are dependent very much and connected to the ocean in our culture and identity.” 

Mihai Sora, a Pacific analyst at Australia’s Lowy Institute, said it’s hard to imagine a more alarming proposition for Pacific island nations given the “toxic legacy” of nuclear weapons testing and waste dumping in the Pacific. 

The timing, amidst regional geopolitical competition that has traditional powers falling over themselves to demonstrate who’s a better partner to the Pacific, could scarcely be worse,” Sora said. 

The United States, United Kingdom and France carried out more than 300 nuclear detonations in the Pacific from 1946 to 1966, according to the International Disarmament Institute at Pace University in New York, which exposed thousands of military personnel and civilians to radiation and made some atolls uninhabitable. 

“Decades of hard-won regional goodwill towards Japanese Pacific engagement are at risk with this single policy initiative,” Sora said……………….

Japan’s embassy in Suva, Fiji didn’t respond to a request for comment. https://www.eurasiareview.com/28012023-japans-plan-to-discharge-water-from-fukushima-nuclear-plant-faces-pacific-opposition/

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Japan, OCEANIA, oceans, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Former US Secretary of State says Pakistan’s 2019 conflict with India almost sparked nuclear war

A former high-ranking US official has revealed he will “never forget the night” when the world witnessed what almost became a nuclear catastrophe.

Alex Blair news.com.au 25 Jan 23

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has detailed just how close the world came to nuclear war in 2019.

In February 2019, the relationship between rival nuclear powers India and Pakistan came dangerously close to escalating into a full-blown conflict, Pompeo writes in his memoir.

It all kicked off when India launched a military operation against militants within Pakistani territory, in response to an attack on its own troops in the disputed region of Kashmir that left 40 Indian soldiers dead.

Pakistan retaliated by shooting down two Indian aircraft and capturing a fighter pilot.

Both nations lay claim to Kashmir, but currently control only portions of the region. India has long accused Pakistan of supporting separatist militants in the Kashmir Valley, a claim that Pakistan denies.

The two nations, both nuclear powers, have engaged in multiple conflicts throughout their history, with the majority of these conflicts centred around the disputed region.

In his memoir, Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, Pompeo emphasises that the world was unaware of the sheer gravity of the situation……………………………………………………….. more https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/former-us-secretary-of-state-says-pakistans-2019-conflict-with-india-almost-sparked-nuclear-war/news-story/75da26ebea96f1064d024205c6108bc2

January 27, 2023 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Disastrous Downsides of South Korea Building Nuclear Weapons

38 North BY: SIEGFRIED S. HECKER, JANUARY 20, 2023

Is South Korea Willing to Lose Its World-leading Nuclear Power Program to Build the Bomb?

In a wide-ranging interview on January 11, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned Pyongyang that if North Korea’s nuclear threat continues to advance, South Korea would consider building nuclear weapons of its own or ask the United States to redeploy them on the Korean Peninsula. Although President Yoon walked back these comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, they were published in the South Korean press and reinforced by some Republic of Korea (ROK) defense analysts. Cheon Seong-whun said, “President Yoon’s comment could turn out to be a watershed moment in the history of South Korea’s national security.”

A South Korean decision to build its own bomb could, indeed, be a watershed. Threatening Pyongyang does little besides give it a stronger justification to enhance its own nuclear arsenal. I believe that such a move would trigger a tsunami that would wipe out Seoul’s remarkable economic miracle and destroy the soft power it has established around the world……………………….

The National Burden of a Nuclear Arsenal

Whereas President Yoon’s comment, “…we can have our own nuclear weapons pretty quickly, given our scientific and technological capabilities” is true, it doesn’t come close to capturing the national redirection, expense, and immense burden that Seoul would have to shoulder to field not just one bomb, but a nuclear arsenal to counter Pyongyang’s.

It is true that with its advanced technological capabilities, South Korea could probably build the bomb quickly. But a few bombs don’t make a nuclear deterrent, particularly if Seoul will have to go it alone. And let’s be clear, if Seoul were to go down this path, Washington could, and likely would, withdraw its nuclear umbrella. Building a nuclear arsenal to counter Pyongyang’s would require a major national redirection of its economy and diplomacy that would negatively affect nearly all facets of South Korean life for decades.

For nearly fifty years, South Korea has pursued a civilian nuclear energy program. It wisely focused on the middle of the fuel cycle—that is, reactor fuel fabrication, reactor construction and operation, and electricity production. It has built neither enrichment nor reprocessing facilities. Consequently, South Korea has no inventory of bomb-grade plutonium or uranium currently stockpiled. To build nuclear weapons, it would have to repurpose some of its civilian reactors to produce the plutonium bomb fuel (combined with using its laboratory-scale pyroprocessing facilities to extract plutonium) or construct a centrifuge facility to make highly enriched uranium. Either path would take at least two years to produce enough bomb fuel for even a few bombs. In the longer term, an effective nuclear deterrent would require new, dedicated nuclear weapons facilities, requiring substantial time and financial commitments.

The next step in building a bomb is weaponization—that is, designing, building and testing the nuclear devices. South Korea could surely master all scientific and engineering challenges of building a bomb—as it has demonstrated so convincingly in mastering civilian nuclear power generation. Some of the purely military aspects could be accomplished in concert with its conventional military technical complex. But to prove the design and fabrication, there would need to be nuclear testing, but where? Neighboring countries—China and Japan—would certainly object strongly, and there would undoubtedly be strong domestic opposition to tests from every South Korean province.

The nuclear warheads will also have to be integrated into delivery vehicles—such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, submarine-launched missiles or bombers. South Korea has all the basic building blocks, but it would still have substantial work to do to integrate the nuclear warheads into the delivery systems. Moreover, these requirements will continue to evolve as North Korea upgrades its offensive and defensive capabilities. The assembly, disassembly and fielding of nuclear devices pose serious safety and security risks and would have to be learned without help or advice from current nuclear powers. Seoul will also have to develop a command-and-control structure that is more stringent than anything it has done so far for its conventional military.

Another consequence of building a nuclear arsenal is that it will compete for resources—financial, personnel, and technical—with the South’s conventional military…………………………………………………………………………

Seoul Would Deal a Serious Blow to the Nonproliferation Regime

South Korea would be the first democratic country to withdraw from the NPT, dealing a blow to decades of US leadership in preventing nuclear proliferation. As serious as the North Korean nuclear threat is, I believe Washington would have no choice but to condemn and counter the South’s decision to build the bomb. The nonproliferation regime is a complex fabric of treaties, agreements, assurances, practices, and international organizations. North Korea’s bomb and Iran’s pursuit of the bomb have already stressed the regime. The negative impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are playing out now. South Korea should not join these countries in undermining the regime……………………………………………………………

Shooting Itself in the Foot

South Korea’s decision to build the bomb will be widely condemned…………………………..

The irony is that an indigenous nuclear arsenal will make South Korea less secure. It is likely to draw an escalatory response from the North, and Seoul may then have to face that threat on its own. ………………………………. more https://www.38north.org/2023/01/the-disastrous-downsides-of-south-korea-building-nuclear-weapons/

January 22, 2023 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The US has a new nuclear proliferation problem: South Korea

The US has a new nuclear proliferation problem: South Korea. Last week,
Seoul officially put its nuclear option on the table, for the first time
since 1991. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declared the country would
consider building its own arsenal of nuclear weapons if the threat it faces
from nuclear-armed North Korea continues to grow. It will.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 19th Jan 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Righting shoddy nuclear waste storage site to cost Japan 36 bil. yen (280 million US$)

File photo taken in October 2021 shows the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Tokai Reprocessing Plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan

Jan 15, 2023

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency estimates that it will cost taxpayers 36.1 billion yen ($280 million) to rectify the shoddy storage of radioactive waste in a storage pool at the Tokai Reprocessing Plant, the nation’s first facility for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, an official said Sunday.

Around 800 containers of transuranic radioactive waste, or “TRU waste,” were dropped into the pool from 1977 to 1991 using a wire in the now-disused plant in Tokai, a village in Ibaraki Prefecture northeast of Tokyo. They emit high levels of radiation.

The waste includes pieces of metal cladding tubes that contained spent nuclear fuel, generated during the reprocessing process. The containers are ultimately supposed to be buried more than 300 meters below surface.

The agency has estimated that 19.1 billion yen will be needed to build a new storage facility for the containers, and 17 billion yen for a building that will cover the storage pool and the crane equipment to grab containers.

The 794 containers each are about 80 centimeters in diameter, 90 cm tall and weigh about 1 ton, with many lying on their sides or overturned in the pool. Some have had their shape altered by the impact of being dropped.

The containers were found stored in the improper manner in the 1990s. While the agency said the storage is secure from earthquakes and tsunamis, it has nonetheless decided to improve the situation.

The extractions have been delayed by about 10 years from the original plan and are expected to begin in the mid-2030s.

The Tokai Reprocessing Plant was the nation’s first plant that reprocessed spent fuel from nuclear reactors to recover uranium and plutonium. Between 1977 and 2007, about 1,140 tons of fuel were reprocessed. The plant’s dismantlement was decided in 2014 and is expected to take about 70 years at a cost of 1 trillion yen.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/01/a53b75be634e-righting-shoddy-nuclear-waste-storage-site-to-cost-japan-36-bil-yen.html?fbclid=IwAR0noJR_TWvTNwv4_hAdYklAJ8kwH8RMeimCap7YVvL8vc8hz8JneYMBBlo


January 20, 2023 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan, US to team up on next-generation nuclear reactors

Jan. 10, 2023

Japan and the United States have agreed to start work on developing next-generation nuclear reactors as part of joint efforts to strengthen energy security and promote decarbonization.

Japan’s Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi met US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in Washington on Monday.

Nishimura said, “With this agreement, the two countries will explore opportunities for cooperation in the development and construction of next-generation reactors, making the most of existing reactors, and building strong supply chains.”

The two sides said in a joint statement their efforts will include building advanced light water reactors.

They also agreed to try to maximize the use of existing reactors, and establish robust supply chains for uranium fuel and nuclear components.

Japan approved a new policy on nuclear power in December. It includes the development of next-generation reactors to replace decommissioned ones.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230110_25/?fbclid=IwAR1gt_mDemniAehQqu1dzva-5QNwtOk7M5VcyASbLuWXOPVlaXh29et6xV4

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Credible nuclear regulation needs independence, transparency

Officials of the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority meet reporters in Tokyo on Dec. 27 to explain about closed-door meetings of the secretariat and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy regarding extending the life span of aging nuclear reactors.

January 6, 2023

Nuclear regulation should place importance on “independent decision-making” and “ensure total disclosure of information,” including facts concerning the decision-making process.

This principle was established in line with the bitter lessons learned from the dreadful calamity that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011. The pledge must not be taken lightly.

Recent revelations have raised serious questions about the nuclear regulator’s commitment to the principle.

The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) held seven closed-door meetings with the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, an agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), over Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s initiative to extend the life span of aging nuclear reactors.

The two organizations also held dozens of telephone conversations over the matter.

After the Fukushima disaster, the jurisdiction of regulating nuclear power generation was transferred from the pro-industry METI to the newly created Nuclear Regulation Authority. The NRA is an external organ of the Environment Ministry.

In early October, the NRA instructed its secretariat to review regulations related to the proposal to extend the legal life of reactors. But the secretariat and the agency had begun holding talks over the matter at the end of July. The secretariat did not report these early meetings to the NRA or keep records of the sessions.

When these facts came to light in December, the secretariat categorically denied discussing, coordinating or adjusting nuclear safety regulations during these talks. It contended there was no problem with the “independence and transparency” of the NRA.

During these meetings, however, the energy agency told the NRA secretariat that revisions to laws including those under the NRA jurisdiction were being considered. The secretariat called for the deletion of certain provisions concerning nuclear safety regulations from the envisioned bill while beginning to consider its own bill.

It is difficult to believe that these meetings were not for advance policy coordination or discussions.

Generally speaking, exchanges of information between government organizations are necessary for smooth administrative functioning. But the NRA was separated from the METI, the leading champion of nuclear power generation, to ensure its independence.

It should not be viewed or treated similarly to other ministries and agencies.

NRA Chairman Shinsuke Yamanaka has argued that there is nothing wrong with staff members of the secretariat discussing related issues since the final decisions are made by the NRA.

But the NRA’s code of conduct, which stresses the importance of independence and transparency, states that the NRA performs its duties “together with” the NRA secretariat. The principle should also be applied to the secretariat.

The NRA’s failure to keep track of what was going on within the secretariat raises questions about its governance.

Especially serious is the secretariat’s disregard for the importance of information disclosure, which is vital for assessing and securing the independence of nuclear regulation.

The secretariat has said meetings and discussions with other ministries and agencies are not subject to the rules concerning record-keeping. But the NRA has told the secretariat to keep records of future meetings with other government departments related to nuclear power generation and make public the records.

But telephone conversations will not be covered by this rule. Is this sufficiently effective?

The top three positions at the NRA secretariat have been held by former METI officials since last summer. The NRA’s responses to the proposal to extend the life span of reactors since October have been criticized as “premature” actions even by some NRA members.

If the NRA fails to forthrightly address the suspicions raised by the latest revelations, the credibility of nuclear regulation will be undermined. The NRA should undertake a serious probe into what transpired and publish the findings.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14808235

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima: court upholds acquittals of three Tepco executives over disaster

Three former executives from the company that operates the wrecked
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have had their not-guilty verdicts upheld
by a court in Japan, dealing a blow to campaigners demanding the firm take
legal responsibility for the disaster in March 2011.

The Tokyo high court
on Wednesday cleared Tsunehisa Katsumata, the former chairman of Tokyo
Electric Power (Tepco), along with former vice-presidents Ichiro Takekuro
and Sakae Muto, of professional negligence resulting in death. The court
said the defendants could not have predicted the massive tsunami that
crippled the power plant and triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident
since Chornobyl in 1986.


The three men were indicted in 2016 for allegedly failing to take measures
to defend the plant against tsunamis, resulting in the deaths of 44 people,
including elderly patients at a hospital, who had to be evacuated after the
disaster.

Guardian 18th Jan 2023

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/18/fukushima-court-upholds-acquittals-of-three-tepco-executives-over-disaster

January 18, 2023 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

South Korea keen to market nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates, and missile technology, too.

South Korea president, in UAE, backs return to nuclear power

MRO, ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) 16 Jan 23, – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Monday that his nation’s efforts to be carbon neutral by 2050 would rely in part on returning to nuclear power, even though his predecessor had tried to move away from atomic power.

Yoon’s comments at a summit in the United Arab Emirates, made in front of the country’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, served to underline Seoul’s commitment to nuclear power as it works to finish the Arabian Peninsula’s first atomic power plant. That could see South Korea in line for lucrative maintenance contracts and future projects in the UAE, which Seoul has grown closer to over recent years.

Yoon’s predecessor, President Moon Jae-in, sought to move South Korea away from nuclear power amid safety and graft scandals and Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster………..

Yoon traveled later Monday to the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi’s far western desert near Saudi Arabia with Sheikh Mohammed before a planned business summit back in the capital.

On his arrival back, Yoon told the summit that, using the Barakah plant as an example, he hoped the Emirates and South Korea could expand this “new model of cooperation” to include nuclear fuel, small reactors and other joint advances to third countries…….

Yoon’s embrace of nuclear power also provides a guarantee of sorts that South Korea remains invested in servicing the Barakah plant. France, also home to nuclear power plants and another Emirati business and military ally, has sought contracts here as well.

Already, Yoon’s four-day trip the UAE has seen a promise from Sheikh Mohammed to invest some $30 billion in the country. Heavyweight business leaders from Hyundai, Samsung and other companies also are taking part in the state visit.

On Sunday, Yoon also visited South Korean special forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates, a murky deployment that grew out of Seoul’s deal over the nuclear power plant. The Akh unit is comprised of some 150 troops………..

Already, the Emiratis have paid $3.5 billion for the Cheongung II, or “Heaven’s Bow,” surface-to-air missile system from South Korea ….  https://www.mromagazine.com/2023/01/16/south-korea-president-in-uae-backs-return-to-nuclear-power/

January 17, 2023 Posted by | marketing, South Korea | Leave a comment

China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water

China Daily, Xinhua 2023-01-16

BEIJING — China once again urges Japan to take the reasonable concerns of relevant parties seriously and dispose of its nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remarks at a daily news briefing here in response to reports that Japan would pipe nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean during the spring and summer this year.

Wang said that over the past two years, the international community has strongly questioned and opposed the unilateral and erroneous decision of the Japanese government to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, and expressed grave concerns over the impact such an action would have on the marine environment and public health.

Wang said the majority of the Japanese public is also opposed to this irresponsible approach. When polled, 55 percent of respondents opposed the disposal of contaminated water into the ocean.

“It is regrettable that the concerns of all parties have yet to be given due attention or be addressed by Japan,” Wang said, adding that Japan has failed to provide scientific and credible explanations concerning the legitimacy of its plan, the accuracy of data on the nuclear-contaminated water, the effectiveness of the treatment system, and the uncertainties about the environmental impact.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sent three technical task forces to Japan and so far, there has been no conclusive resolution on Japan’s proposal, Wang said, noting that the agency has also issued many requests to Japan, seeking clarifications or making recommendations for improved disposal plans………. more https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202301/16/WS63c551cea31057c47eba9e94.html

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Huge cost for Japanese tax-payers to clean up the botched nuclear waste storage at Tokai reprocessing plant

Righting shoddy nuclear waste storage site to cost Japan 36 bil. yen

 https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/01/a53b75be634e-righting-shoddy-nuclear-waste-storage-site-to-cost-japan-36-bil-yen.html – 16 Jan 23, The Japan Atomic Energy Agency estimates that it will cost taxpayers 36.1 billion yen ($280 million) to rectify the shoddy storage of radioactive waste in a storage pool at the Tokai Reprocessing Plant, the nation’s first facility for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, an official said Sunday.

Around 800 containers of transuranic radioactive waste, or “TRU waste,” were dropped into the pool from 1977 to 1991 using a wire in the now-disused plant in Tokai, a village in Ibaraki Prefecture northeast of Tokyo. They emit high levels of radiation.

The waste includes pieces of metal cladding tubes that contained spent nuclear fuel, generated during the reprocessing process. The containers are ultimately supposed to be buried more than 300 meters below surface.

The agency has estimated that 19.1 billion yen will be needed to build a new storage facility for the containers, and 17 billion yen for a building that will cover the storage pool and the crane equipment to grab containers.

The 794 containers each are about 80 centimeters in diameter, 90 cm tall and weigh about 1 ton, with many lying on their sides or overturned in the pool. Some have had their shape altered by the impact of being dropped.

The containers were found stored in the improper manner in the 1990s. While the agency said the storage is secure from earthquakes and tsunamis, it has nonetheless decided to improve the situation.

The extractions have been delayed by about 10 years from the original plan and are expected to begin in the mid-2030s.

The Tokai Reprocessing Plant was the nation’s first plant that reprocessed spent fuel from nuclear reactors to recover uranium and plutonium. Between 1977 and 2007, about 1,140 tons of fuel were reprocessed. The plant’s dismantlement was decided in 2014 and is expected to take about 70 years at a cost of 1 trillion yen.

January 15, 2023 Posted by | Japan, space travel, wastes | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster: Japan to release radioactive water into sea this year

By Grace Tsoi BBC News 13 Jan 23,

Japan says it will release more than a million tonnes of water into the sea from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant this year.

After treatment the levels of most radioactive particles meet the national standard, the operator said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the proposal is safe, but neighbouring countries have voiced concern.

The 2011 Fukushima disaster was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Decommissioning has already started but could take four decades.

“We expect the timing of the release would be sometime during this spring or summer,” said chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno on Friday, adding that the government will wait for a “comprehensive report” from IAEA before the release.

Every day, the plant produces 100 cubic metres of contaminated water, which is a mixture of groundwater, seawater and water used to keep the reactors cool. It is then filtered and stored in tanks.

With more than 1.3 million cubic metres on site, space is running out.

The water is filtered for most radioactive isotopes, but the level of tritium is above the national standard, operator Tepco said. Experts say tritium is very difficult to remove from water and is only harmful to humans in large doses.

However, neighbouring countries and local fishermen oppose the proposal, which was approved by the Japanese government in 2021.

The Pacific Islands Forum has criticised Japan for the lack of transparency.

“Pacific peoples are coastal peoples, and the ocean continues to be an integral part of their subsistence living,” Forum Secretary General Henry Puna told news website Stuff.

“Japan is breaking the commitment that their leaders have arrived at when we held our high level summit in 2021.

“It was agreed that we would have access to all independent scientific and verifiable scientific evidence before this discharge takes place. Unfortunately, Japan has not been co-operating.”……. more https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64259043

January 15, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Team Korea to bolster exports of nuclear energy systems

Korea Times, By Lee Kyung-min, 13 Jan 23,

State-run energy companies and private firms in the nuclear energy industry will join hands to advance exports of the stable and affordable power generation systems, the energy ministry said following a meeting attended by officials from the sector, Friday.


The Korea-developed APR1400, a nuclear reactor with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts, is increasingly recognized by its industry peers for its cost, quality and technological advantages.

Communication channels will be strengthened with the Czech Republic, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, to win orders to build nuclear reactors there. Also fortified will be government assistance to foster industries related to nuclear power generation equipment manufacturing, as well as facility safety and maintenance.

Second Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Park Il-jun presided over the meeting attended by members of Team Korea, a task force established to facilitate the export of the country’s nuclear reactors, at InterContinental Seoul COEX, southern Seoul.


In attendance were Korea Power Corp. (KEPCO) and its power subsidiary Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) as well as KEPCO affiliates…………….. https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2023/01/419_343553.html

January 15, 2023 Posted by | marketing, South Korea | Leave a comment