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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Japan must urgently tackle Fukushima’s radioactive water buildup

Reuters 13th Oct 2018 , Japan must urgently tackle a buildup of contaminated water at its Fukushima
nuclear plant, destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami more than seven years
ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday. The
call after a site visit by IAEA experts follows last month’s admission by
plant owner Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), that water treated there still
contained radioactive material, despite having said for years it had been
removed.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-japan-disaster-nuclear-water/iaea-pushes-japan-for-urgent-disposal-of-contaminated-fukushima-water-idUKKCN1NI14X?rpc=401&

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November 15, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

North Korea: its nuclear weapons “complete”, but not planning to get rid of them (why should they?)

North Korea not giving up its nuclear weapons any time soon, Chronicle, 12 NOV, 2018 “……..North Korea declared its nuclear force “complete” and halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year, but U.S. and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from Pyongyang a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programs, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

North Korea has said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility. It also raised the possibility of shuttering more sites and allowing international inspections if Washington took “corresponding measures,” of which there has so far been no sign.

Last week, North Korea called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York, and state media said on Monday the resumption of some small-scale military drills by South Korea and the United States violated a recent agreement aimed at lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The sites identified in the CSIS report are scattered in remote, mountainous areas across North Korea, and could be used to house ballistic missiles of various ranges, with the largest believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the United States……” https://www.chronicle.co.zw/north-korea-not-giving-up-its-nuclear-weapons-any-time-soon/

November 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hundreds of Taiwanese academics urge public to vote for nuclear power shut-down

Taiwan’s academics urge public to vote for nuclear power shut-down, Nature, 9 Nov 18
Open letter encourages voters to support the phase out of nuclear power plants in an upcoming referendum. 
Hundreds of researchers in Taiwan have signed an open letter urging the public to vote to continue the phase out of nuclear power in an upcoming referendum.

Last year, Taiwanese legislators added a clause to the island’s electricity act to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2025……

In October, proponents of nuclear power gathered enough signatures — more than 1.5% of the electorate in Taiwan — to force a referendum that will ask the public to agree to removing the phase-out clause from the act. ……Fifty academics, including environmental sociologist Chiu Hua-Mei at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, released the letter on 3 November, asking the public to vote to keep the clause. More than 400 others have now signed the letter.

Risky business

Chiu says that earthquakes and tsunamis, events that can damage nuclear power stations with devastating effects, are major threats to Taiwan, and there is no feasible long-term solution yet for dealing with the radioactive waste. It is currently stored at the power stations or on Orchid Island off the east coast. “It’s too risky for Taiwan to use nuclear power,” she says.

The academics who signed the letter felt compelled to advise the public about the risks of continuing to use nuclear power in Taiwan, Chiu says. “We think that scholars should say something for us, for Taiwan.”

Even if the phase-out clause ends up being removed from the act, it is not clear what president Tsai will do in response.

Fifty academics, including environmental sociologist Chiu Hua-Mei at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, released the letter on 3 November, asking the public to vote to keep the clause. More than 400 others have now signed the letter.

…….https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07337-6

November 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Tepco to temporarily stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor 

TEPCO to stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181109_10/ The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to temporarily stop injecting water into one of its damaged reactors to test the cooling of fuel debris.

Tokyo Electric Power Company announced it will conduct the 7-hour test at the No.2 reactor as early as March next year.

The unit is one of 3 in the 6-reactor facility that suffered a meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The damaged reactors contain a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and structural parts.

TEPCO officials say water injections keep temperatures stable in the 3 reactors at around 30 degrees Celsius.

The planned experiment is aimed at checking how the debris is being cooled. It will be the first time to halt water injections into the reactor since they were stabilized after the accident.

TEPCO’s assessment says the reactor temperature would rise by around 5 degrees per hour if injections were halted by accident. But it says the rise will be limited to about 0.2 degrees per hour when natural heat radiation is taken into account.

TEPCO officials say they will begin cutting back on water injections by around half to 1.5 tons per hour for about a week as early as in January, before halting them completely in March after checking the results.

TEPCO estimates the 7-hour stoppage may raise the reactor temperature by about 1.4 degrees but says water injections will resume if the temperature rises more than 15 degrees.

Company officials say they want to assess changes in the temperature so they can use the data in future emergency cases, including earthquakes and tsunamis.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster – whiteboard reveals the chaos in March 2011

Chalkboards at Fukushima base for nuke accident tell of the chaos, Asahi Shimbun , By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer, November 9, 2018 OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–As if frozen in time, unerased chalkboards still carry the scribblings of emergency officials closely monitoring the catastrophic nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.A whiteboard carries the poignant communications between an emergency headquarters of the Fukushima prefectural government and teams working outside at the moment a hydrogen explosion blew apart the No. 3 reactor building on March 14, 2011.

“Stop monitoring, evacuate now,” an order said.

The next line follows, “1F3 (No. 3 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 plant) hydrogen explosion.”

“Don’t return here, head west,” another directive said.

Media representatives were invited on Nov. 8 for the first time to the emergency headquarters that was set up at the prefecture-run Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring Center of Fukushima here to monitor the radiation levels around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant when a massive tsunami crippled the power supply on March 11, 2011.

The center was originally constructed as a facility to monitor radiation levels in the area as well as serve as an education center for nuclear power generation.

The headquarters were abandoned on the night of March 14, 2011, after the evacuation order was issued following the explosion at the No. 3 reactor building. No one since then has returned to use or tidy up the site………http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201811090033.html

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Local opposition to restart of Tokai nuclear station, but it is cleared to start by Japan’s nuclear watchdog

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Japan, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Modi’s doublespeak on India’s first nuclear submarine

Nuclear submarine Arihant completes first deterrence patrol mission

The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Live Mint, Nov 05 2018.  New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India’s first nuclear armed submarine INS Arihant had successfully completed its first deterrence patrol, heralding India’s entry into an exclusive club of powers with land, air and sea-based nuclear weapons delivery platforms………

In comments posted on Twitter, Modi said the Arihant feat was “historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India’s nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability”, underlining India’s “No first use” policy and the role of the sea-based strategic platform as a guarantor of peace. ……“India is a land of peace,” Modi said. “Peace is our strength, not our weakness. Our nuclear programme must be seen with regard to India’s efforts to further world peace and stability,” he said……….. https://www.livemint.com/Politics/MPSTSAYPZq855MBeczEg1N/India-says-nuclear-submarine-makes-first-patrol-PM-Modi-war.html

November 5, 2018 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea warns it might return to developing nuclear weapons, if USA does not end sanctions

North Korea warns of returning to nuclear policy, News 24 2018-11-04 North Korea has warned the US it will “seriously” consider returning to a state policy aimed at building nuclear weapons if Washington does not end tough economic sanctions against the impoverished regime.

For years, the North had pursued a “byungjin” policy of simultaneously developing its nuclear capabilities alongside the economy.

In April, citing a “fresh climate of detente and peace” on the peninsula, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared the nuclear quest complete and said his country would focus on “socialist economic construction”.

But a statement issued by the North’s foreign ministry said Pyongyang could revert to its former policy if the US did not change its stance over sanctions.

“The word ‘byungjin’ may appear again and the change of the line could be seriously reconsidered,” said the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency late on Friday.

Sanctions

At a historic summit in Singapore in June, US President Donald Trump and Kim signed a vaguely-worded statement on denuclearisation.

But little progress has been made since then, with Washington pushing to maintain sanctions against the North until its “final, fully verified denuclearisation” and Pyongyang condemning US demands as “gangster-like”.

“The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible,” said the statement, released under the name of the director of the foreign ministry’s Institute for American Studies.

“What remains to be done is the US corresponding reply,” it added.

The statement is the latest sign of Pyongyang’s increasing frustration with Washington……..


In an interview with Fox News on Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that sanctions will remain until Pyongyang carries out it denuclearisation commitments made in Singapore, adding he will meet with his North Korean counterpart next week. https://www.news24.com/World/News/north-korea-warns-of-returning-to-nuclear-policy-20181104

November 5, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resume nuclear talks with North Korea this week

Pompeo Resuming Nuclear Talks with N. Korea This Week, VOA, November 04, 2018 Ken Bredemeier, 

November 5, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

2020 Olympics as PR for the global nuclear industry? Fukushima to start the events

Abe and IOC chief to visit Fukushima Olympics venue
Disaster-stricken prefecture will host first event of the 2020 games https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Abe-and-IOC-chief-to-visit-Fukushima-Olympics-venue

November 05, 2018 TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach plan to visit the venue in Fukushima for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics later this month, a government source said Sunday.With a “reconstruction Olympics” being one of the fundamental themes of the Summer Games, the government hopes the visit planned for Nov. 24 will increase momentum toward the recovery of the country’s northeastern region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Bach will visit Japan to attend a two-day general assembly meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees starting Nov. 28, followed by an IOC Executive Board session, both to be held in Tokyo.

The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26, 2020, with the flame scheduled to be lit in the ancient Greek city of Olympia on March 12 the same year, a day after the ninth anniversary of the 2011 disaster.

The city of Fukushima will host six softball games including a match played by the Japan team on July 22 as the first event of the Olympic Games.

November 5, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Kepco is still working to land Saudi nuclear power deal,  Korea JoongAng Daily   BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr], 2 Nov 18, GWANGJU – The CEO of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said it still hopes to be picked for a $20 billion nuclear power plant project in Saudi Arabia that is expected to be decided by the end of next year. …….

“We are trying to show that we are working to become Saudi’s long-term partner,” Kim said

In July Korea was put on the shortlist for the Saudi nuclear project along with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.

The Saudi government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with a 2.8 gigawatt capacity by 2030. The country has plans to build a total of 16 nuclear power plants in the next 20 to 25 years. …….

Kim said earnings from overseas could make it easier for Kepco not to raise domestic electricity bills. ……..http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3055054

November 5, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s fishing industry threatened by plans to dump radioactive water

Radioactive water threatens Fukushima fishery’s fragile gains, Plant operator plans to dump contaminated water into the ocean, Nikkei Asian Review, TAKUMI SASAKI, Nikkei staff writer  November 04, 2018, TOKYO — Since a catastrophic nuclear accident seven years ago, Fukushima fishermen have made painstaking efforts to rebuild their livelihood, assiduously testing the radioactivity levels of their catches to ensure safety. Now, rapidly accumulating wastewater from the crippled power plant is again threatening this hard-won business recovery.

Faced with the prospect that there will be no more space to store tanks containing radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and the Japanese government are considering diluting the water and dumping it into the ocean.

Even though Fukushima’s fishery has been recovering, the haul throughout the entire prefecture amounted to about 3,300 tons last year, just 10% of the average prior to the 2011 disaster. And even reaching there has not been easy.

Fish markets in the prefecture now house testing rooms filled with equipment. Staff members mince seafood caught every morning to screen for radioactivity. Such painstaking efforts gradually enabled fishermen to return to the sea, with all fishing and farming operations resuming in February this year.

But the trend could reverse if the government goes through with plans to release nuclear wastewater into the sea.

Tepco has been cooling down the molten fuel cores by pumping water into the ruined reactors. The tainted water is later taken out and treated, but the system in place does not filter out tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope.

The tritium-laced water is currently stored in tanks within the premises of Fukushima Daiichi, but space is due to run out within five years……..https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Radioactive-water-threatens-Fukushima-fishery-s-fragile-gains

 

November 5, 2018 Posted by | Japan | Leave a comment

Eastern Japan cities sign nuclear accident evacuation accord

tokai 2 npp.jpg
This July 17, 2018 file photo shows the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant, front, in the village of Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture.
 
October 31, 2018
CHIBA, Japan (Kyodo) — A local government near a nuclear power plant in eastern Japan signed an accord Wednesday that will allow its residents to take shelter in six municipalities further away from the complex in the case of an accident at the plant.
The arrangement aims to enable the evacuation of about 43,000 of around 270,000 residents from Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, which is located within 30 kilometers from the Tokai No. 2 plant, to Kashiwa and five other cities in Chiba Prefecture.
Under the accord, the six cities in Chiba are to set up shelters to be managed by the Mito municipal government. The maximum evacuation period will be one month in principle and Ibaraki Prefecture and Mito will be in charge of securing necessary supplies.
Screenings for radioactive materials and decontamination work will be carried out by the Ibaraki prefectural government.
The nuclear plant located northeast of Tokyo is operated by Japan Atomic Power Co. In September, it cleared a safety screening to resume operations under stricter rules introduced after the March 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The conclusion of the evacuation accord met with opposition from civic groups in the six cities which claimed the cooperative partnership could be viewed as a step toward the aging plant’s resumption.
The city of Mito has concluded similar accords with municipalities in Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures to evacuate around 180,000 people. It is arranging an agreement to flee the remaining 40,000 residents to Saitama Prefecture.
Eight other municipalities within a 30-km radius of the Tokai No. 2 plant in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, have also signed evacuation accords with local authorities in nearby prefectures.

November 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Shikoku Electric restarts Ikata nuclear reactor following failed court challenges

n-ikata-a-20181028-870x786.jpg
The No. 3 unit at the Ikata nuclear power plant had been idle since October 2017 before restarting Saturday
 

 

MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – Shikoku Electric Power Co. on Saturday restarted a reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant after a suspension of nearly one year due to a high court order.
The restart of the No. 3 unit at the plant in the town of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, announced by the power company overnight Friday, came after a high court accepted an appeal by the utility in a late September ruling that there are no safety risks associated with potential volcanic activity in the region.
The utility said the unit reached criticality, a controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction, on Saturday evening as planned.
It said it will start producing and transmitting electricity on Tuesday, before possibly putting the reactor into commercial operation on Nov. 28.
The decision by the Hiroshima High Court was an about-face from its provisional injunction issued in December last year that demanded the power company halt the No. 3 unit until Sept. 30, following a request from a local opposition group. The group argued that Shikoku Electric underestimated the risk of pyroclastic flows reaching the plant if there is a major eruption at Mount Aso, about 130 km away.
The temporary suspension order was the first in which a high court banned operations at a nuclear plant since the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 complex.
But the high court said on Sept. 25 that the group’s claim of a possible destructive volcanic eruption during the plant’s operating period has no satisfactory grounds and that there is a small chance of volcanic ash and rocks reaching the facility. A Hiroshima court on Friday also rejected a call from residents to have the restart blocked.
The reactor had been idle for maintenance since last October. Before that, it had gone back online in August 2016 after clearing stricter safety regulations implemented in the wake of Fukushima.
“We’d like Shikoku Electric to constantly pursue improvements in safety and reliability, and information disclosure with high transparency,” Ikata Mayor Kiyohiko Takakado said.

November 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Preparation for nuclear international inspections – North Korea

North Korea is reportedly preparing nuclear and missile sites for international inspectors, CNBC, Wed, 31 Oct 2018  

  • South Korea’s spy agency has observed preparations by North Korea for international inspections at several of its nuclear and missile test sites, the Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday.
  • Kim Min-ki of the ruling Democratic Party told reporters that intelligence officials had observed what they believed to be preparations for possible inspections at Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Sohae Satellite launching ground.

South Korea’s spy agency has observed preparations by North Korea for international inspections at several of its nuclear and missile test sites, the Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday, citing a South Korean lawmaker………

Washington has demanded steps such as a full disclosure of the North’s nuclear and missile facilities, before agreeing to Pyongyang’s key goals, including an easing of international sanctions and an official end to the Korean War.

American officials have been skeptical of Kim’s commitment to giving up nuclear weapons, but the North’s pledge at the summit with the South drew an enthusiastic response from President Donald Trumphttps://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/31/north-korea-reportedly-readies-nuclear-missile-sites-for-inspectors.html

November 3, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment