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Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan looks to increased renewable energy. Nuclear power unlikely to go ahead much.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has compiled a draft
revision to Japan’s Basic Energy Plan, which indicates the direction of the
government’s energy policy. The revision brings our attention to the
predicted ratios of various power sources in fiscal 2030.

In order to reduce our dependence on carbon, renewable energy sources were increased
from 22 to 24% three years ago to 36 to 38% in the latest draft revision.
Some view this increase as being insufficient in making renewable energy
Japan’s main energy source.

But we commend the willingness expressed to
undertake the maximum possible implementation of renewable energy as an
utmost priority.

Meanwhile, doubts remain about the percentage of power
generation comprising nuclear reactors. The new Basic Energy Plan is trying
to maintain the 20 to 22% set in the 2015 revisions to the Basic Energy
Plan, but that is unrealistic. To achieve that kind of ratio, Japan would
need to be operating around 27 nuclear reactors at a high rate in fiscal
2030. However, since the major incident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, only 10 nuclear
reactors have resumed operations. The percentage of power generated by
nuclear reactors in fiscal 2019 was a mere 6%.

 Mainichi 28th July 2021

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210728/p2a/00m/0op/004000c

July 29, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, Japan | Leave a comment

Chinese company likely to be glad to abandon UK’s Hinkley and Bradwell nuclear power projects, as costs jump.

 China could quit UK nuclear projects if role threatened, experts warn.
Effort to remove state-owned CGN from Sizewell C said to leave Hinkley
Point and Bradwell developments exposed. China General Nuclear is likely to
walk away from the Hinkley Point C power station being built in Somerset if
the Chinese state-owned nuclear company is forced out of other future
projects in the UK, industry experts warned on Monday.

The company is already a minority investor in the 3.2 gigawatt Hinkley Point nuclear power
station, which France’s EDF is building. One nuclear industry executive
warned that CGN could now reassess its involvement with Hinkley Point.

They pointed out there were four interlinked agreements between CGN, EDF and the
government dating to 2015: Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Bradwell and the
pursuit of regulatory approval for China’s reactor design.

Steve Thomas, emeritus professor of energy policy at University of Greenwich, said
CGN’s investment in Hinkley was designed to make a profit and also help
secure its plant at Bradwell. With both of those now in jeopardy, the
company could quit the UK, he warned.

The Chinese company is eager to getUK regulatory approval at Bradwell for its own Hualong One HPR1000 reactor in order to help market it in other countries. The reactor design is
currently going through the UK’s rigorous approval process with a
decision expected in the second quarter of next year.

 But Thomas pointed out that with Hinkley’s budget having jumped from
£14bn to as much as £22.5bn it was no longer clear whether the consortium
would make a profit. “I would have thought that would put it into
lossmaking territory,” he said.

“They may well be very happy for an
excuse to get out of it,” Thomas said. “If Bradwell is off the agenda
and Hinkley Point won’t make money, why stick around?” Alison Downes of
Stop Sizewell C, a pressure group, said the government’s position threw
EDF’s funding problems for the new plant into sharper relief: “The
simple fact is that Sizewell C won’t go ahead without new investors,”
she said.

 FT 27th July 2021

 https://www.ft.com/content/ada78301-0b2c-4bf5-bcd4-ea0cd55312ae

July 29, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, China, UK | Leave a comment

China is building a 2nd base for nuclear missiles, still way behind USA and Russia


China is building a 2nd base for nuclear missiles, say analysts Al Jazeera, 28 July 21,

Researchers in the US say China is building 250 silos for nuclear missiles in ‘the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever’. 
Analysts at the Federation of American Scientists say China is building a second field of silos for launching nuclear missiles in a development that could constitute “the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever”.

The United States-based researchers made the discovery after analysing commercial satellite images, and said on Monday that the field – located near the city of Hami in Xinjiang province – may eventually include about 110 silos.

The new field is about 380km (236 miles) from a base near the city of Yumen in neighbouring Gansu province, where a separate group of researchers earlier this month found construction under way on 120 missile silos.

Altogether, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force now appears to have 250 silos under construction at Hami, Yumen, as well as at a training ground near the city of Jilantai in Inner Mongolia, wrote the FAS’s Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen.

The number marks a significant increase, they said, given that China has for decades operated only 20 silos for its liquid fuel Df-5 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM)………

Korda and Kristensen noted, however, that even if China were to double or triple its nuclear stockpile it would still be a long way from near-parity with the stockpiles of Russia and the US, each of which have nuclear warhead stockpiles of close to 4,000.

Regardless of how many silos China ultimately intends to fill with ICBMs, this new missile complex represents a logical reaction to a dynamic arms competition in which multiple nuclear-armed players – including Russia, India, and the United States – are improving both their nuclear and conventional forces as well as missile defense capabilities,” they said…………

The US has repeatedly called on China to join it and Russia on a new arms control treaty.

Beijing has rejected the call, but said it would be happy to hold arms control talks if the US was willing to reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal to China’s level. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/28/china-is-building-a-second-missile-silo-field-say-us-researchers

July 29, 2021 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

”Nuclear Games” expose Japanese government’s spin about the Olympic Games.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely.”

Games for the young coincides with Tokyo Olympics, Saily News, 26 July 21,

Perhaps it was also a reflection of the longstanding cat-and-mouse game played by the world’s nine nuclear powers – the US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – violating the Olympic ideals of peace and humanity with a resurgent nuclear arms race.

The coalition says Nuclear Games shines a light on nuclear issues which are deliberately downplayed by governments, including by Japan as it presents the Olympics with a virtually empty stadium because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Japan experienced nuclear bombings in 1945 and also suffered one of the world’s most devastating nuclear power accidents in 2011 and remains deeply affected by them.Tuesday, July 27, 2021 -Coinciding with the opening ceremony, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), anti-nuclear activists and youth leaders launched Nuclear Games, an innovative film and online platform addressing nuclear history and the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy……………..In a press release, the coalition of NGOs said that nuclear dangers and tensions are rising today. According to the Pentagon, the risk of nuclear war is growing. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock advanced this year to 100 seconds to midnight – closer to nuclear war even than during the Cuban Missile Crisis……

Nuclear Games was developed by interactive video books pioneer Docmine, a Swiss-based creative studio, with support from Basel Peace Office, Youth Fusion, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Switzerland and the World Future Council.

It is offered in English and German and aimed at non-usual suspects: people who don’t typically watch political documentaries or engage in anti-nuclear advocacy work, says the coalition.

“It will have particular resonance with younger viewers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the history it conveys of nuclear disasters, near misses, and ongoing threats and impacts.”

Joseph Gerson, President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau, told IDN: “In addition to appreciating the film’s pointing to the ongoing existential nuclear dangers on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombings, I am glad that the Games’ press release points to the hypocrisy of the Olympics being held midst the pandemic.”

He said the Japanese Government has cynically spent trillions of Yen to prepare for the Olympics and then insisted on holding them against the opposition of most people in Japan.

“With only a quarter of the Japanese population vaccinated against Covid-19, we should reflect on how many more Japanese people would be alive today and next year were those Yen, and others spent on building one of the world’s most advanced militaries, instead been devoted to developing and purchasing vaccines. I hope that Japanese voters will bear this in mind when it is election time this fall,” Gerson declared.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

“This is government spin, deliberately minimizing and normalizing the disaster, and ignoring Fukushima’s ongoing impacts and threats to public safety,” said Dr Andreas Nidecker, MD, Basel Peace Office president and the originator of the Nuclear Games concept.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely,” he declared.  http://www.dailynews.lk/2021/07/27/features/254937/nuclear-games-young-coincides-tokyo-olympics

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Radioactive cesium found in honey produced near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Cesium exceeding the standard in honey produced near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan   https://www.newsdirectory3.com/cesium-exceeding-the-standard-in-honey-produced-near-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-plant-in-japan/?fbclid=IwAR14svkp8cegftROdHB3KZDmQPYPNKW3UOmJK99m85ydVnwXG7ZqPlmjzqQ

written by News Dir July 24, 2021 The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on the 23rd that cesium, a radioactive substance exceeding the standard, was detected in honey produced in Namie-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

According to the report, Fukushima Prefecture announced on the previous day that 130 to 160 becquerels of cesium were detected in honey produced by the beekeeping department of the Sawakami Management and Cultivation Association in Namie-machi, which exceeds the government standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram (㏃).

Namie-machi is an area near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and there are still many ‘difficult-to-return areas’ where decontamination work of antiseptic materials has not been completed.

This is the first time that cesium exceeding the standard has been detected in honey in Fukushima Prefecture. The Sawakami Management and Cultivation Association is recovering honey that was sold at local stores and other stores, Yomiuri said.

By Kwon Jae-hee, staff reporter jayful@asiae.co.kr

July 26, 2021 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Japan’s cleaner energy vision marred by burden of nuclear power

Cleaner energy vision marred by burden of nuclear power, Asahi Shimbun July 24, 2021,  The industry ministry July 21 laid out its vision for a cleaner energy future in its draft new Basic Energy Plan. The blueprint gives a breakdown of energy sources to power the nation in fiscal 2030 to achieve the government’s goal of carbon neutrality, or net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, in 2050.

It states that promoting renewable energy sources should be the policy priority and set a target of raising the share of renewables in the nation’s overall power output by 14 points to 36-38 percent in fiscal 2030. The ministry deserves to be lauded for declaring that renewables should a primary energy source.
The industry ministry July 21 laid out its vision for a cleaner energy future in its draft new Basic Energy Plan. The blueprint gives a breakdown of energy sources to power the nation in fiscal 2030 to achieve the government’s goal of carbon neutrality, or net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, in 2050.

It states that promoting renewable energy sources should be the policy priority and set a target of raising the share of renewables in the nation’s overall power output by 14 points to 36-38 percent in fiscal 2030. The ministry deserves to be lauded for declaring that renewables should a primary energy source.

But its decision to maintain the share of nuclear power at the current level of 20-22 percent is baffling.But its decision to maintain the share of nuclear power at the current level of 20-22 percent is baffling.
By contrast, costs of power generation using renewable energy sources have shown a steady decline. Solar power generation for businesses will produce 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity at estimated costs in the lower 8-yen range to the higher 11-yen range in 2030.

Even though the draft energy supply blueprint calls for reducing Japan’s reliance on nuclear power as much as possible, it nevertheless sets an unrealistic target for the share of nuclear power……..
…..The first order of business for the ministry is to define the composite of power sources in 2050 required to achieve carbon neutrality. Currently, the only imaginable main source of electricity to ensure a greener energy future is renewables.

Clean energy accounted for 21.7 percent of Japan’s total power output last year, close to the target for 2030 (22-24 percent). It would be wiser to make utmost use of the huge potential of renewable energy…………. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14402202

July 26, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Japanese govt’s new Basic Energy Plan will prioritise renewable energy

The industry ministry July 21 laid out its vision for a cleaner energy future in its draft new Basic Energy Plan. The blueprint gives a breakdown of energy sources to power the nation in fiscal 2030 to achieve the
government’s goal of carbon neutrality, or net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, in 2050. It states that promoting renewable energy sources should be the policy priority and set a target of raising the share of
renewables in the nation’s overall power output by 14 points to 36-38 percent in fiscal 2030.

The ministry deserves to be lauded for declaring that renewables should a primary energy source. But its decision to maintain the share of nuclear power at the current level of 20-22 percent is baffling.

 Asahi Shimbun 24th July 2021

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14402202

July 26, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics, renewable | Leave a comment

Problems at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant are serious enough to warrant shutdown, French co-owner warns.

The second EPR reactor at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant is about to enter into commercial operation.

Problems at China nuclear power plant are serious enough to warrant shutdown, French co-owner warns, By Barbara Wojazer, Zachary Cohen, Michael Callahan and Jessie Yeung, CNN, July 23, 2021   CNN)The French power company that co-owns a nuclear plant in China would shut it down if it could, due to damage to the fuel rods, a spokesperson said — but the decision is ultimately up to the plant’s Chinese operator.

The spokesperson for Electricite de France (EDF) said on Thursday that while it was “not an emergency situation” at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, located in China’s southern Guangdong province, it was a “serious situation that is evolving.”If the reactor was in France, the company would have shut it down already due to “the procedures and practices in terms of operating nuclear power plants in France,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not directly call on China to halt operations at the plant, noting it was a decision for its Chinese partner and majority shareholder in the plant, the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).

CNN first reported in June that the French company Framatome — an EDF subsidiary which supports operations at Taishan — had warned of an “imminent radiological threat” at the plant, prompting the United States government to investigate the possibility of a leak.

The company had also accused the Chinese safety authority of raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant in order to avoid having to shut it down, according to a letter from Framatome to the US Department of Energy, obtained by CNN…………..On Thursday, the EDF spokesperson reiterated it was detecting an increase in noble gas in a reactor, and that the company had publicly clarified its position to the Chinese plant’s owner and operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co., Ltd (TNPJVC).

EDF holds a 30% stake in TNPJVC — a joint venture with state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group.”We’ve shared with them all the elements of EDF’s analysis and all the reasons why, in France, we would stop the reactor,” the spokesperson said, “so that they can take the decision that will be necessary as responsible operators.”According to the spokesperson, EDF would have shut down the reactor in order to “avoid further degrading of the fuel rods, and carry out an investigation, and avoid further damage to the industrial facility.”…..   https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/22/china/edf-taishan-nuclear-plant-china-intl-hnk/index.html

July 24, 2021 Posted by | China, safety | Leave a comment

Safety blunders fuel Japan’s mistrust of nuclear power

Safety blunders fuel Japan’s mistrust of nuclear power. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is the biggest nuclear power station in the world. Tucked away on a remote shoreline of the Sea of Japan, the plant can generate nearly eight gigawatts of electricity from its seven reactor halls – about 5 percent of total demand in Japan.

In the last ten years, however, this symbol of the atomic period has not produced enough power to turn on a light bulb. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa shares the same owner, Tokyo Electric, and the same basic design as the three reactors that melted in Fukushima after a tsunami knocked out their cooling systems in 2011.

The public is still opposed to the restart of nuclear power – and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is part of the reason why. Tepco’s failure to regain public confidence was recently plagued by the scandal surrounding its operational existence. In 2002, the company confesses after ‘systematic and inappropriate management’ of
inspections at the plant, after failing to report cracks in reactor components to its regulator. In 2007, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was hit by an earthquake of more than 6.6 more powerful than it allowed in the design of the plant, but Tepco did not learn lessons that could have prevented the Fukushima disaster.

 FT 23rd July 2021

https://www.ft.com/content/57bdef2e-2d1b-4d06-8163-830f17764219

July 24, 2021 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

China threatens Japan with nuclear war over intervention in Taiwan

China threatens Japan with nuclear war over intervention in Taiwan, Business Standard, 23 July 21,

Deputy PM Aso urged dialogue to resolve any issue   The Chinese Communist Party aired a video in which it warned Japan of a nuclear response and “full-scale war” if the island nation interferes in China’s handling of Taiwan, Fox News reported.

The video, which appeared on a channel approved by the CCP, singles out Japan as the one exception to China’s policy to not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powers.

“We will use nuclear bombs first,” the video said. “We will use nuclear bombs continuously. We will do this until Japan declares unconditional surrender for the second time.” The video was deleted from Chinese platform Xigua after gaining 2 million views, but copies were uploaded to YouTube and Twitter, Taiwan News reported. Accoding to Fox News,the threats follow comments made two weeks ago by Japanese officials about Taiwan’s sovereignty, with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso saying that Japan must “defend Taiwan,” The Japan Times reported……. https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/china-threatens-japan-with-nuclear-war-over-intervention-in-taiwan-121072300030_1.html

July 24, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China to activate molten salt nuclear reactor, but it’s not clear if they have solved its safety problems


China to activate world’s first ‘clean’ nuclear reactor in September

Live Science 23 July 21, Plans include building up to 30 reactors in partnered nations. Chinese government scientists have unveiled plans for a first-of-its-kind, experimental nuclear reactor that does not need water for cooling.

The prototype molten-salt nuclear reactor, which runs on liquid thorium rather than uranium, is expected to be safer than traditional reactors because thorium cools and solidifies quickly when exposed to the air, meaning any potential leak would spill much less radiation into the surrounding environment compared with leaks from traditional reactors. 

The prototype reactor is expected to be completed next month, with the first tests beginning as early as September………………..

The molten-salt reactor concept was first devised back in 1946 as part of a plan by the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force to create a nuclear-powered supersonic jet. 

However, the experiment ran into too many problems, such as corrosion caused by the hot salt and the cracking of pipes, and the project was abandoned in 1954. Since then, several groups have tried to make viable molten-salt reactors, including an experimental reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, but the weak radioactivity of thorium makes it very difficult for fission reactions to build up to sustainable levels without adding uranium. 

It is not yet clear how Chinese researchers have solved these technical problems……..

July 24, 2021 Posted by | China, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Softball match in Fukushima was intended to showcase ”recovery from nuclear disaster”, but that has fallen flat.

Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, was among those clinging to the hope that a softball match would help convince a worldwide TV audience that life in Fukushima had returned to normal. But the opening day of the Tokyo Games, held in the shadow of coronavirus, ended up conveying a different message: that collective trauma unleashed by a nuclear accident, and now by a global pandemic, was never going to be extinguished by the swing of a bat

The Games were supposed to be an opportunity to show the current status of Fukushima

No entry: symbolism in Fukushima as Olympics begin in empty stadium, Guardian,  Justin McCurry at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, Wed 21 Jul 2021 

Silence and sadness greets a softball match meant to signal the recovery of a city devastated by earthquake and tsunami in 2011

After a year’s delay and months of rancour, finally some Olympic sport. Few will remember the details of Yukiko Ueno’s opening pitch to Michelle Cox in Japan’s softball match against Australia in Fukushima on Wednesday morning. But her delivery, witnessed by the organising committee president, Seiko Hashimoto, signalled that the most bizarre Games of modern times really are happening.

Depending on how deep the world’s reserves of optimism run, the first action of the 2020 Games could mark a turning point for the troubled Olympics or, more likely, bring only ephemeral relief from the viral cloud that hangs over the host city, Tokyo.

There was, though, a symbolism to Japan’s 8-1 victory over Aussie Spirit that predates the pandemic by almost a decade. In one sense, Japan’s Olympic project came full circle at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, located in a region whose proximity to tragedy inspired its pitch for the “recovery Games”. Forty miles east of the stadium stands the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. On the afternoon of 11 March 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake triggered a towering tsunami that destroyed huge swaths of Japan’s north-east coast, killing more than 18,000 people and sweeping away entire towns.

The same waves crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, triggering meltdowns in three of its reactors and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes while plant workers, firefighters and soldiers battled to cool the reactor cores. Ten years on, many are still unable or unwilling to return to their old neighbourhoods.

The decision to award Fukushima softball and baseball matches was intended to prove to the world that the wider region had recovered from the tsunami and the nuclear crisis was “under control,” as the then Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, told the International Olympic Committee in 2013 in a last-ditch effort to rescue Tokyo’s bid. But the virus’s recent surge in the host nation, centred on Tokyo, meant that one convincing sign of recovery – the communal enjoyment of sport – was missing in Fukushima……….

The teams lined up for national anthems observed in near silence, watched by a large contingent of Japanese reporters and officials sheltering beneath a small section of the stadium not exposed to the blazing morning sunshine. After Uchibori overturned organisers’ plans to allow a limited number of spectators, hundreds of local volunteers were told their services were no longer needed. ………….

“The Games were supposed to be an opportunity to show the current status of Fukushima, and we had various plans in mind before the decision to ban spectators,” said Seiichi Anbai, the chairman of the Fukushima city softball association, according to the Kyodo news agency. “Our emotions are polarised because, considering the coronavirus situation, it is sort of understandable but at the same time, we wanted the Games to take place in front of an audience.”

A Fukushima hotelier, who asked not to be named, felt the region had been exploited. “They said they would put on the Olympics for the sake of Fukushima, but I don’t think many people here feel like that’s really happening,” she told the Guardian. “It all comes down to politics.”

“The government has taken advantage of Fukushima right from the start,” she added, referring to the decision to begin the Japan leg of the torch relay at J-Village, a football training complex that functioned for years as a logistics hub for crews working to control and decommission the damaged nuclear plant 12 miles away………

Fukushima has come a long way since wild animals roamed streets where atmospheric radiation made it too dangerous for residents to return. But its recovery will continue long after the softball and baseball Olympians have gone home.

In the next couple of years, the operator of Fukushima Daiichi – Tokyo Electric Power – will begin releasing more than a million tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific ocean, a move opposed by local fishermen who have spent years repairing the reputational damage to their industry. The plant itself will take decades to decommission, and at a cost of billions of dollars.

Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, was among those clinging to the hope that a softball match would help convince a worldwide TV audience that life in Fukushima had returned to normal. But the opening day of the Tokyo Games, held in the shadow of coronavirus, ended up conveying a different message: that collective trauma unleashed by a nuclear accident, and now by a global pandemic, was never going to be extinguished by the swing of a bat.  https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/21/no-entry-symbolism-in-fukushima-as-olympics-begin-in-empty-stadium

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy: How they built the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant


Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy: How they built the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, rappler.com, KELVIN S. RODOLFO 21 July 21, There is not enough space to list the multitude of construction errors inspector William Albert found at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The following is the tenth in a series of excerpts from Kelvin Rodolfo’s ongoing book project Tilting at the Monster of Morong: Forays Against the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and Global Nuclear Energy.Some history   A thoughtful congressman, Roilo Golez, once cautioned that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant’s (BNPP) risks were magnified by a “national lack of a culture of safety that is observed in Japan, the United States, and Western Europe.” The BNPP has been accursed with that lack from the very beginning, and remains so today…………. https://www.rappler.com/voices/thought-leaders/opinion-shoddy-how-

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Indonesia, safety | Leave a comment

The tally of North Korea’s nuclear weapons


Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does North Korea have in 2021? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 

By Hans M. KristensenMatt Korda, July 21, 2021  orth Korea has made significant advances over the past two decades in developing a nuclear weapons arsenal. It has detonated six nuclear devices––one with a yield of well over 100 kilotons––and test-flown a variety of new ballistic missiles, several of which may be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to targets in Northeast Asia and potentially in the United States and Europe. However, there is considerable uncertainty about which of North Korea’s missiles have been fielded with an active operational nuclear capability.


It is widely assumed that North Korea has operational nuclear warheads for medium-range missiles. However, it is unclear whether it has managed to develop fully functioning nuclear warheads that can be delivered by long-range ballistic missiles and, following violent atmospheric reentry, detonate as planned. That said, just because North Korea has not yet publicly demonstrated a capability to deliver a functioning nuclear reentry vehicle on a long-range ballistic missile does not necessarily indicate that it is not working on developing one or could not field one in the future. It is clear from its development efforts and public statements that North Korea ultimately intends to field an operational nuclear arsenal capable of holding regional and US targets at risk.

Due to the lack of clarity surrounding North Korea’s nuclear program, agencies and officials of the US intelligence community, as well as military commanders and nongovernmental experts, struggle to assess the program’s characteristics and capabilities. Based on publicly available information about North Korea’s fissile material production and missile posture, we cautiously estimate that North Korea might have produced sufficient fissile material to build 40 to 50 nuclear weapons and that it might possibly have assembled 10 to 20 warheads for delivery by medium-range ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s nuclear policy

North Korea declared a no-first-use policy following its fourth nuclear test in 2016; however, it diluted its statement with the caveat that it would not “be the first to use nuclear weapons […] as long as the hostile forces for aggression do not encroach upon its sovereignty”………………

Nuclear testing and warhead capabilities

After six nuclear tests––including two with moderate yields and one with a high yield––there is no longer any doubt that North Korea can build powerful nuclear explosive devices designed for different yields. ………………………..

Medium-range ballistic missiles

North Korea has developed three medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), all three of which are likely to be operational. This is the category of missile that is most likely to have an operational nuclear capability…………

Intercontinental ballistic missiles

The most dramatic development has been North Korea’s display and test-launching of large ballistic missiles that appear to have intercontinental range. North Korea has publicly shown five types of missiles in this category: the Taepo Dong-2, the Hwasong-13, the Hwasong-14, the Hwasong-15, and the Hwasong-16. These systems are in various stages of development, and some may simply be mockups or technology demonstrators……………………. https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-07/nuclear-notebook-how-many-nuclear-weapons-does-north-korea-have-in-2021/


July 22, 2021 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Using snakes to monitor Fukushima radiation,

Using snakes to monitor Fukushima radiation, EurekAlert, 21 July 21,

Researchers placed tiny GPS trackers on rat snakes to track their movements at Fukushima

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA  Ten years after one of the largest nuclear accidents in history spewed radioactive contamination over the landscape in Fukushima, Japan, a University of Georgia study has shown that radioactive contamination in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone can be measured through its resident snakes.

The team’s findings, published in the recent journal of Ichthyology & Herpetology, report that rat snakes are an effective bioindicator of residual radioactivity. Like canaries in a coal mine, bioindicators are organisms that can signal an ecosystem’s health.

An abundant species in Japan, rat snakes travel short distances and can accumulate high levels of radionuclides. According to the researchers, the snakes’ limited movement and close contact with contaminated soil are key factors in their ability to reflect the varying levels of contamination in the zone.

Hanna Gerke, an alumna of UGA’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, said tracked snakes moved an average of just 65 meters (approximately 213 feet) per day.

An abundant species in Japan, rat snakes travel short distances and can accumulate high levels of radionuclides. According to the researchers, the snakes’ limited movement and close contact with contaminated soil are key factors in their ability to reflect the varying levels of contamination in the zone.

Our results indicate that animal behavior has a large impact on radiation exposure and contaminant accumulation,” Gerke said. “Studying how specific animals use contaminated landscapes helps increase our understanding of the environmental impacts of huge nuclear accidents such as Fukushima and Chernobyl.”  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-07/uog-ust072021.php

July 22, 2021 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment