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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Asia’s coal-fired power boom ‘bankrolled by foreign governments and banks’

The vast majority of newly built stations in Indonesia relied on export credits agencies or development banks, says study by Market Forces, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 20 july 17, The much-discussed boom in coal-fired power in south-east Asia is being bankrolled by foreign governments and banks, with the vast majority of projects apparently too risky for the private sector.

Environmental analysts at activist group Market Forces examined 22 deals involving 13.1 gigawatts of coal-fired power in Indonesia and found that 91% of the projects had the backing of foreign governments through export credit agencies or development banks.

Export credit agencies, which provide subsidised loans to overseas projects to assist export industries in their home countries, were involved in 64% of the deals and provided 45% of the total lending.

The majority of the money was coming from Japan and China, with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) involved in five deals and the Export-Import Bank of China (Cexim) involved in seven deals. All the deals closed between January 2010 and March 2017.

The China Development Bank was the biggest development bank lending to the projects, imparting $3bn, with a further $240m in development funds coming from Korea’s Korea Development Bank.

The lending comes despite the world’s biggest development bank – the World Bank – warning last year that plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be a “disaster for the planet” and overwhelm the deal forged at Paris to fight climate change.

“Right now, several key countries supporting the Paris climate change agreement are actively undermining it by trying to expand the polluting coal-power sector in other countries,” said Julien Vincent, executive director of Market Forces.

According to the International Energy Agency, the world needs to phase out coal-power by 2050 in order to keep warming under 2C……..

The push of financing comes as Japan, China and Korea move to cut plans for coal-power in their own countries. Vincent said the moves were related, since Indonesia was now seen as a testing ground for new coal-fired power station technology. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/20/asias-coal-fired-power-boom-bankrolled-by-foreign-governments-and-banks

July 22, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The Australian businessman tasked with making American manufacturing great for Donald Trump has broken with the President on climate policy

Andrew Liveris adamant US will revisit Paris climate deal, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/andrew-liveris-adamant-us-will-revisit-paris-climate-deal/news-story/d4b0e75cb50c717220f4b13543157a67, 22 July 17 JAMIE WALKER, Associate Editor, Brisbane, @Jamie_WalkerOz

The Australian businessman tasked with making American manufacturing great for Donald Trump has broken with the President on climate policy, saying the US must re-engage with the Paris agreement.

And in a provocative address in Brisbane, Dow Chemical boss ­Andrew Liveris revealed that ­spiralling domestic gas prices had forced the multinational firm to review its Australian operations.

As the head of Mr Trump’s manufacturing council, Darwin-raised Mr Liveris is working with the embattled administration to deliver a key election promise to revitalise US manufacturing, while engineering one of the ­biggest corporate mergers in ­history between Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Warning that environmental sustainability was “no longer an initiative, it’s a business model”, Mr Liveris said Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris accord should not halt international co-operation on greenhouse gas mitigation. “We cannot as citizens of the world let that move impede our collective progress and our determination to ­remove carbon from the atmosphere,” he said, to applause from the crowd of 1500 that turned out for the UQ ChangeMakers forum, put on by his alma mater the University of Queensland and supported by The Weekend Australian.

“Many businesses in the US, NGOs and states have re-upped and picked up the commitment of what’s become the slack left behind by the federal government.

“I believe the US will re-engage ultimately with Paris and I am certainly being part of the solution to make that happen.” But he distanced himself from Mr Trump’s handling of the issue, saying it was “very unfortunate” the President had said the US was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement, when the aim was to “redefine its engagement”. Under the UN-backed accord, Australia is committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. Mr Liveris said: “They are actually not withdrawing, they just want to re-­engage on different terms. So if you think about it that way, I would say the odds would be very high of a re-engagement.”

Mr Liveris was one of the first business leaders to warn of the “gas cliff” that has deepened eastern Australia’s energy crisis, prompting intervention by the federal government to limit LNG exports and boost domestic gas supplies. He said yesterday that the gas price paid by Dow Chemical in Australia had rocketed from “roughly five or six dollars” to $20 in less than a year, jeopardising the business. “So my leader of Australia-Pacific … he’s got a proposal in front of us to look at exiting Australia right now in terms of uncompetitive energy prices.

We are not alone. We … can see the future in terms of the ­trajectory … you need to fix supply and you have got to basically recalibrate demand so that 90 per cent of the gas isn’t ­exported.”

Backing the controversial Finkel report to the government on energy security, Mr Liveris said it offered a “great series of policy ­solutions” and business would ­accept a target for renewables. The country, however, needed “policies that outlive” the government concerned. “What I would say is give me a policy that has a renewable target, give me time to develop it and I will develop a partnership model with you, in an innovation hub … to develop the technologies over time,” he said.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Hanford Nuclear Site: After President Trump’s Budget Proposal Comes up Short, Sen. Murray’s Proposal For A Nearly $200 Million Increase for Nuclear Waste Cleanup Goes To Full Senate Vote

Mining Awareness +


Hanford Tunnel cave-in photo May 9th 2017 Hanford gov
These nuclear clean-up sites need to be handled either by non-profits/not-for-profits or directly by government. There is no room for profit in nuclear waste. Every penny needs to be for clean-up and securing waste. If every penny were for clean-up and securing waste or if the charges were fair, would there be a budget short-fall? Maybe not. If so it would be smaller and almost certainly be due to better quality waste clean-up/storage. Energy Solutions, owned by Trump fundraiser-large donor Doug Kimmelman, is a site contractor, as is the French State via AREVA. Why is France making a profit off of US waste?

Whoever was responsible for the old plutonium PUREX waste tunnels was apparently too cheap to put ground movement sensors, which should not cost much, and would have warned prior to collapse. This suggests that the taxpayer’s pocketbook and…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China Cracks 100 Gigawatts of Solar Capacity as Musk Pitches More U.S. Gigafactories

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When it comes to solar energy, China is on one hell of a roll.

In the first half of 2017, the massive country added a record 24.4 gigawatts of solar electrical generating capacity. This boosted its total solar capacity to 101.82 gigawatts. By comparison, China has about 900 gigawatts of coal generating capacity, but recent coal curtailments provide an opportunity for renewable energy to take up a larger portion of China’s energy market share. Such an event would provide a crucial opening for the world to begin a necessary early draw-down of global carbon emissions in the face of rising risks from climate change.

(The government of China proudly touts its clean energy advances. Trump Administration — not so much.)

This very rapid solar growth rate, if it continues, puts China on track to beat its 2016 record annual solar installation rate of 34 GW. And, already, it is…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 21 Energy News

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Science and Technology:

¶ Monsoon season now brings more extreme wind and rain to central and southwestern Arizona than in the past, according to new research led by the University of Arizona. Although there are now fewer storms, the largest monsoon thunderstorms bring heavier rain and stronger winds than did the monsoon storms of 60 years ago. [AZ Big Media]

Arizona Monsoon

World:

¶ China installed a record 24.4 GW worth of new solar capacity across the first half of 2017, according to new figures from the country’s solar PV association. The figure is 9% up on 2016’s own record installation numbers. This pushes the country’s installed solar capacity up to 101.82 GW, of which 84.39 GW is utility-scale. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Germany’s offshore wind farms delivered to the grid 8.48 TWh of electricity in the year’s first six months, Deutsche Windguard figures show. German offshore wind has already…

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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive cesium detected in the urine of 100 children after the catastrophic accident of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

 Cesium concentration found in more than 70% of the urine sample tested in Fukushima Prefecture

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Scientific paper from Sachiko Saitou, Tomoya Yamauchi, Kobe University, submitted 16. January 2017.

Amounts of radioactive cesium, Cs-137 and Cs-134, in 24 h urine of 37 children have been determined using a HP-Ge detector, in Fukushima Prefecture between February 2014 and March 2016.

As comparisons, those of 25 children have been also measured who live in Western Japan from September 2016 to March 2017, and that of one child in Ibaraki Prefecture from April 2014 to January 2017.

We have found the cesium concentrations in the more than 70 % of urine samples from Fukushima Prefecture are in the ranges from 0.06 to 0.30 Bq/L.

No radioactive cesium is observed in the samples from Western Japan, under the detection limit of 0.1 Bq/L.

In the case of Ibaraki, the radioactivity keeps its value around 0.20 Bq/L during the inspection period, indicating the chronic ingestion of the radioactive cesium in his daily life.

http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/handle_kernel/81009860

javascript:PdfLink(‘default’,’81009860′,’http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/repository/81009860.pdf’,’G0000003kernel’)

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco chairman’s remark on water release goes radioactive

Comment draws ire from Fukushima residents, fishermen and watchdog

0721N_TEPCO_article_main_imageTakashi Kawamura, a former Hitachi chairman, took up his current post just last month.

 

TOKYO — Comments by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings’ chairman about releasing nuclear wastewater into the ocean are being met with anger from fisheries groups and many others.

Tepco Chairman Takashi Kawamura told news outlets earlier this month that the utility “has made its decision” on the release of tritiated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the ocean. Tritiated water is a radioactive form where the usual “light” hydrogen atoms are replaced with tritium.

Kyodo News reported the following day that the company shares the view of Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, that spilling the water into the sea would not cause any problem, scientifically speaking.

Tepco immediately released a statement saying Kawamura’s comments “did not intend to announce the concluded policy of the company on the matter.”

Nonetheless, the national cooperative of fishermen has protested. And rather unexpectedly, Tanaka criticized Kawamura for using his name to promote the company’s agenda. This is a worrying development for Tepco, since increased mistrust by the NRA could affect the utility’s medium- to long-term strategies, including restarting nuclear power plants.

Tritiated water is also released from normally functioning nuclear power plants. In Japan, water meeting official standards can be dumped into the sea.

But local residents have protested the idea, out of concern that rumors and misunderstandings could damage their community. At the Industry Ministry, a special committee has been considering the matter. Kawamura’s remarks were seen as getting ahead of that process, hence the backlash.

The wastewater in question still sits inside a number of storage tanks at the Fukushima power plant, with nowhere to go. Tepco and the government want to find a solution quickly, but the latest controversy shows that skipping careful and thoughtful communication with various stakeholders could end up costing them more time.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Tepco-chairman-s-remark-on-water-release-goes-radioactive

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Potential releases of 129I, 236U and Pu isotopes from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants to the ocean during 2013 to 2015

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After the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear accident, many efforts were put into the determination of the presence of 137Cs, 134Cs, 131I and other gamma-emitting radionuclides in the ocean, but minor work was done regarding the monitoring of less volatile radionuclides, pure beta-ray emitters or simply radionuclides with very long half-lives.

In this study we document the temporal evolution of 129I, 236U and Pu isotopes (239Pu and 240Pu) in seawater sampled during four different cruises performed 2, 3 and 4 years after the accident, and compare the results to 137Cs collected at the same stations and depths.

Our results show that concentrations of 129I are systematically above the nuclear weapon test levels at stations located close to the FDNPP, with a maximum value of 790 x107 at·kg-1, that exceeds all previously reported 129I concentrations in the Pacific Ocean.

Yet, the total amount of 129I released after the accident in the time 2011-2015 was calculated from the 129I/137Cs ratio of the ongoing 137Cs releases and estimated to be about 100 g (which adds to the 1 kg released during the accident in 2011).

No clear evidence of Fukushima-derived 236U and Pu-isotopes has been found in this study, although further monitoring is encouraged to elucidate the origin of the highest 240Pu/239Pu atom ratio of 0.293±0.028 we found close to FDNPP.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b03057

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

New TEPCO executives tripping over their tongues

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TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura, right, receives a formal letter of complaint from an executive member of JF Zengyoren, a nation-wide federation of fishery associations, over his comment about dumping contaminated water to the sea on July 19 in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.
Hoping to restore trust in embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co., the company’s new chairman and president have instead generated unwanted criticism and hostility in their first gaffe-filled month on the job.
They have added to the problems facing the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which also is hoping to bring its idled reactors back online.
On July 19, TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura, who is also honorary chairman of Hitachi Ltd., was apologizing at the headquarters of JF Zengyoren, a nationwide federation of fishery associations, in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. He was forced to explain “the true intention” of remarks he made last week regarding the release of diluted radiation-contaminated water into the sea.
On July 12, during a collective media interview session, Kawamura said “the decision has been made” to do so.
On the Fukushima plant premises, nearly 780,000 tons of water used to cool the reactors are stored, which had been decontaminated of radioactive cesium and plutonium but not tritium. Legally, the tritium-tainted water can be released into the sea, if diluted enough so the concentration of tritium is below a set standard.
However, as the release would add further adversity to the struggling fishing industry in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures, the central government has not made any clear decision on what to do with it.
Kawamura, however, also said, “I am on the same line as the opinion of chair Shunichi Tanaka (of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority) that it is scientifically safe (to discharge water into the sea).”
On July 14, disaster reconstruction minister Masayoshi Yoshino expressed concerns that releasing the water now would “definitely affect public sentiment” over catches from Fukushima Prefecture, where full-scale fishing had been stalled.
At the July 19 meeting with the fishery federation, Kawamura retracted his comment, saying, “As a company or personally, no decision has ever been made whether to release contaminated water to the sea. The true intention of my comments were not properly understood by some media agency.” The TEPCO chairman apologized to Hiroshi Kishi, chairman of the federation, and others at the meeting.
Kishi, in return, submitted a letter of protest stating that they “strongly demand not to release radiation-contaminated water to the sea” and it is “unacceptable to the fishery industry and other Japanese people.”
On the same day, Kawamura admitted to the media what he said a week earlier, explaining that he meant “it cannot be independently decided by TEPCO.”
On July 19, in another part of Tokyo, NRA Chairman Tanaka told the media at a regular news conference that he is “boiling with anger” with Kawamura for including him in his comment. He also said Kawamura’s remark symbolizes his reluctance to face Fukushima residents.
“He used me as an excuse,” said Tanaka, who has suggested releasing water before the storage of contaminated water on the site reaches full capacity. “I have told him he needs to confront Fukushima issues as the first party to resolve them even if he faces a backlash. Despite that, he is still looking for an escape.”
On July 10, Kawamura and TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa attended a meeting with NRA members, including Tanaka, in Tokyo.
There, Kawamura said, “TEPCO has a responsibility to show that it can operate a nuclear power plant,” and he was warned by an NRA member for being “overly forward-looking.” Currently, none of TEPCO’s nuclear power plants are on-line.
On June 27, Kobayakawa also landed in hot water after referring to the town of Futaba, which co-hosts the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, as “where the evacuation order is partially lifted” in a comment to a group of reporters. However, the town has been in a “difficult-to-return zone” since the accident, and no residents are allowed to return to their homes.
At a regular news conference on July 18, a disgruntled Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said, “I would like TEPCO to fulfill its responsibility as the operator that caused a severe accident.”

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

5.8-Magnitude Quake Strikes Off Coast of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, Near Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site

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An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 5.8 hit northeast of Tokyo on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Thursday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) reported.
 
The quake was measured at a depth of 33 km (20 miles) about 79 km (49 miles) east-northeast of Iwaki on Honshu.
 
The temblor, which measured 4 on the Japanese seismic scale which peaks at 7, struck at a latitude of 37.3 degrees north and a longitude of 141.6 degrees east at 9:11 a.m. local time (0000 GMT).
 
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the quake struck at a depth of 40 km.
 
Fukushima police also said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
 
No fresh damage to the crippled nuclear power plant there was reported and there was no risk of a tsunami, officials said.
 
“We have found no (new) abnormality so far” at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said a spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator. Tokyo Electric is working to clean up and dismantle the reactors in a process that is expected to take decades.
 
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March 2011 triggered a massive and deadly tsunami, which smashed into the power station and sparked the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
 
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July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Scaffolding at No.3 Fukushima reactor missing

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant says the metal scaffolding right below the damaged No.3 reactor appears to have gone missing after the 2011 disaster.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, started a full-scale robotic probe into the containment vessel on Wednesday.
 
In the 2011 accident, most of the nuclear fuel in the No.3 reactor is believed to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the containment vessel that covers the reactor. The nuclear fuel is thought to lie within 6-meter-deep water that was injected for cooling.
 
TEPCO and the Japanese government plan to remove the nuclear fuel debris as part of decommissioning of the reactor. They are trying to locate the debris.
 
They used a new underwater robot equipped with cameras for Wednesday’s probe. It is 30 centimeters long and 13 centimeters wide.
 

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Underwater Robot Probe of Reactor 3 Begins

Underwater robot probe inside Fukushima plant’s No. 3 reactor begins
 
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began on Wednesday probing inside a contaminated water-filled reactor containment vessel at one of its units using an underwater robot.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the plant operator, is hoping to discover the precise location and condition of melted fuel debris inside the No. 3 reactor, one of the three units which suffered meltdowns in the 2011 nuclear crisis following a massive earthquake and tsunami.
 
On March 11, 2011, a huge tsunami hit the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, and flooded power supply facilities. Reactor cooling systems were crippled and the Nos. 1-3 units suffered fuel meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.
 
Six years after the disaster, the condition of nuclear debris remains unknown as radiation levels inside the reactors are still extremely high.
 
Since the water levels inside the containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor are higher than those of other reactors, the utility, known as Tepco, sent in an underwater robot equipped with a camera.
 
The robot entered the structure around 6:30 a.m. through a pipe connected to the containment vessel, which houses the reactor pressure vessel, according to Tepco.
 
The remote-controlled robot, attached to cables, then headed to the area just below the reactor pressure vessel and tried to capture images there.
 
Based on the outcome of Wednesday’s probe, the robot will travel on Friday as far as to the bottom of the containment vessel, where the deposits of melted fuel debris are believed to have accumulated.
 
Tepco said about 6.4 meters of water — injected into the structure to cool the fuel — has accumulated in the bottom of the containment vessel.
 
From January to March, Tepco conducted robot surveys including sending a self-propelled robot into the Nos. 1-2 reactors, where water levels are lower than the No. 3 reactor, but they failed to ascertain the condition of fuel debris.
 
 
 
 
Swimming Robot Captures Underwater Images of Damaged Fukushima Nuclear Reactor
 
(TOKYO) — An underwater robot entered a badly damaged reactor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Wednesday, capturing images of the harsh impact of its meltdown, including key structures that were torn and knocked out of place.
 
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the robot, nicknamed “the Little Sunfish,” successfully completed the day’s work inside the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima, which was destroyed by a massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
 
TEPCO spokesman Takahiro Kimoto praised the work, saying the robot captured views of the underwater damage that had not been previously seen. However, the images contained no obvious sign of the melted nuclear fuel that researchers hope to locate, he said.
 
The robot was left inside the reactor near a structure called the pedestal, and is expected to go deeper inside for a fuller investigation Friday in hopes of finding the melted fuel.
 
“The damage to the structures was caused by the melted fuel or its heat,” Kimoto told a late-night news conference held nine hours after the probe ended its exploration earlier in the day.
 
The robot, about the size of a loaf of bread, is equipped with lights, maneuvers with five propellers and collects data with two cameras and a dosimeter. It is controlled remotely by a group of four operators.
 
The robot was co-developed by Toshiba Corp., the electronics and energy company charged with helping clean up the plant, and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a government-funded consortium.
 
It was on a mission to study the damage and find the fuel that experts say has melted, breached the core and mostly fallen to the bottom of the primary containment chamber, where it has been submerged by highly radioactive water as deep as 6 meters (20 feet).
 
The robot discovered that a grate platform that is supposed to be below the reactor core was missing and apparently was knocked down by melted fuel and other materials that fell from above, and that parts of a safety system called a control rod drive were also missing.
 
Remote-controlled robots are key to the decades-long decommissioning of the damaged plant, but super-high levels of radiation and structural damage have hampered earlier probes at two other reactors at the plant.
 
Japanese officials say they want to determine preliminary methods for removing the melted nuclear fuel this summer and start work in 2021.
 
Scientists need to know the fuel’s exact location and understand the structural damage in each of the three wrecked reactors to work out the safest and most efficient ways to remove the fuel.
 
Robots tested earlier became stuck inside the two other reactors. A scorpion-shaped robot’s crawling function failed and it was left inside the plant’s Unit 2 containment vessel. A snake-shaped robot designed to clear debris for the scorpion probe was removed after two hours when its cameras failed due to radiation levels five times higher than anticipated.
 
The robot used Wednesday was designed to tolerate radiation of up to 200 sieverts — a level that can kill humans instantly.
 
Kimoto said the robot showed that the Unit 3 reactor chamber was “clearly more severely damaged” than Unit 2, which was explored by the scorpion probe.
 

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

The week to July 21 in climate and nuclear news

I am wondering if those who read this newsletter, (and many other people, too) are getting “climate change fatigue”.

“Nuclear fatigue” too, perhaps. Still, on the nuclear scene, nothing dramatic seems to be happening this week. Nevertheless, a bit like climate change, nuclear pollution is something that continues to creep up on the unaware world. Investigative journalism still lives: a new report tells of vast areas of America’s land poisoned by mismanagement of military wastes

Not a good time to give up on reading about climate change, with the current debate on Is the Climate Emergency Just a Big Problem, or is it a Catastrophe?

CLIMATE  We Still Have Time to Restore Our Climate. But the Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking.Prof James Hansen warns on sea level rise: Earth could become ‘practically ungovernable’. Methane from thawing permafrost could be increasing the rate of global warming. $530 trillion costs for the future, if no effective action on climate change. Global Sea Ice Coverage Has Fallen Off a Cliff — Impacts Likely to Be Wide-Ranging.

NUCLEAR.  Will Small Nuclear Reactors be the great white hope for the ailing nuclear industry? Probably not.

EUROPE. Drought ravages South Europe crops.

CANADA. Huge wildfires again in Canada – 1000s forced to evacuate.

JAPAN.  Japan map showing potential nuclear waste disposal sites to be released  Japan’s government planning protection in fear of radioactive terrorism at 2020 Olympics.  Fukushima Radiation and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s local authorities want security measures: nuclear reactors a target for military or terrorists.

Fukushima. 5.8 M Quake Near Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site; Torrential Rains; Threats Of Increased Dumping of Radioactive Water to the Pacific. Underwater Robot Begins Probing Fukushima Daiichi’s No. 3 reactor. Will Tepco Dump 770,000 tons of Tritiated Water Into the Pacific Ocean?

FRANCE. Hot weather causes France to cut nuclear power output: (climate change is not good for nuclear reactors)  Europe’s struggle to find a solution to nuclear waste disposal.

UK.

USA.

IRAN. The Iran nuclear deal is working.

GERMANYNuclear and Renewable power really don’t work well together

SOUTH AFRICA. On Mandela Day, South Africa’s anti nuclear movement pledges to stop the government’s nuclear plans.

INDIA. Villagers protest, and stop drilling work for proposed nuclear power plant in Chutka, India.

 

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Vast areas of America’s land poisoned by mismanagement of military wastes

More than three decades ago, Congress banned American industries and localities from disposing of hazardous waste in these sorts of “open burns,’’ concluding that such uncontrolled processes created potentially unacceptable health and environmental hazards.

That exemption has remained in place ever since, even as other Western countries have figured out how to destroy aging armaments without toxic emissions.

Federal environmental regulators have warned for decades that the burns pose a threat to soldiers, contractors and the public stationed at, or living near, American bases.

“They are not subject to the kind of scrutiny and transparency and disclosure to the public as private sites are,”

How The Pentagon’s Handling Of Munitions And Their Waste Has Poisoned America
Many nations have destroyed aging armaments without toxic emissions. The U.S., however, has poisoned millions of acres.
Huffington Post,  20/07/2017 Co-published with ProPublica  20 July 17 RADFORD, Va. — Shortly after dawn most weekdays, a warning siren rips across the flat, swift water of the New River running alongside the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Red lights warning away boaters and fishermen flash from the plant, the nation’s largest supplier of propellant for artillery and the source of explosives for almost every American bullet fired overseas.

 Along the southern Virginia riverbank, piles of discarded contents from bullets, chemical makings from bombs, and raw explosives — all used or left over from the manufacture and testing of weapons ingredients at Radford — are doused with fuel and lit on fire, igniting infernos that can be seen more than a half a mile away. The burning waste is rich in lead, mercury, chromium and compounds like nitroglycerin and perchlorate, all known health hazards. The residue from the burning piles rises in a spindle of hazardous smoke, twists into the wind and, depending on the weather, sweeps toward the tens of thousands of residents in the surrounding towns.

Nearby, Belview Elementary School has been ranked by researchers as facing some the most dangerous air-quality hazards in the country. The rate of thyroid diseases in three of the surrounding counties is among the highest in the state, provoking town residents to worry that emissions from the Radford plant could be to blame. Government authorities have never studied whether Radford’s air pollution could be making people sick, but some of their hypothetical models estimate that the local population faces health risks exponentially greater than people in the rest of the region.

 More than three decades ago, Congress banned American industries and localities from disposing of hazardous waste in these sorts of “open burns,’’ concluding that such uncontrolled processes created potentially unacceptable health and environmental hazards. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators with smokestacks and filters and to adhere to strict limits on what was released into the air. Lawmakers granted the Pentagon and its contractors a temporary reprieve from those rules to give engineers time to address the unique aspects of destroying explosive military waste.
That exemption has remained in place ever since, even as other Western countries have figured out how to destroy aging armaments without toxic emissions. While American officials are mired in a bitter debate about how much pollution from open burns is safe, those countries have pioneered new approaches. Germany, for example, destroyed hundreds of millions of pounds of aging weapons from the Cold War without relying on open burns to do it.

In the United States, outdoor burning and detonation is still the military’s leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste. It has remained so despite a U.S. Senate resolution a quarter of a century ago that ordered the Department of Defense to halt the practice “as soon as possible.” It has continued in the face of a growing consensus among Pentagon officials and scientists that similar burn pits at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan sickened soldiers.

Federal records identify nearly 200 sites that have been or are still being used to open-burn hazardous explosives across the country. Some blow up aging stockpile bombs in open fields. Others burn bullets, weapons parts and — in the case of Radford — raw explosives in bonfire-like piles. The facilities operate under special government permits that are supposed to keep the process safe, limiting the release of toxins to levels well below what the government thinks can make people sick. Yet officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, which governs the process under federal law, acknowledge that the permits provide scant protection.

Consider Radford’s permit, which expired nearly two years ago. Even before then, government records show, the plant repeatedly violated the terms of its open burn allowance and its other environmental permits. In a typical year, the plant can spew many thousands of pounds of heavy metals and carcinogens — legally — into the atmosphere. But Radford has, at times, sent even more pollution into the air than it is allowed. It has failed to report some of its pollution to federal agencies, as required. And it has misled the public about the chemicals it burns. Yet every day the plant is allowed to ignite as much as 8,000 pounds of hazardous debris.

“It smells like plastic burning, but it’s so much more intense,” said Darlene Nester, describing the acrid odor from the burns when it reaches her at home, about a mile and a half away. Her granddaughter is in second grade at Belview. “You think about all the kids.”

Internal EPA records obtained by ProPublica show that the Radford plant is one of at least 51 active sites across the country where the Department of Defense or its contractors are today burning or detonating munitions or raw explosives in the open air, often in close proximity to schools, homes and water supplies. The documents — EPA PowerPoint presentations made to senior agency staff — describe something of a runaway national program, based on “a dirty technology” with “virtually no emissions controls.” According to officials at the agency, the military’s open burn program not only results in extensive contamination, but “staggering” cleanup costs that can reach more than half a billion dollars at a single site.

The sites of open burns — including those operated by private contractors and the Department of Energy — have led to 54 separate federal Superfund declarations and have exposed the people who live near them to dangers that will persist for generations.

In Grand Island, Nebraska, groundwater plumes of explosive residues spread more than 20 miles away from the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant into underground drinking water supplies, forcing the city to extend replacement water to rural residents. And at the Redstone Arsenal, an Army experimental weapons test and burn site in Huntsville, Alabama, perchlorate in the soil is 7,000 times safe limits, and local officials have had to begin monitoring drinking water for fear of contamination.

Federal environmental regulators have warned for decades that the burns pose a threat to soldiers, contractors and the public stationed at, or living near, American bases. Local communities – from Merrimac, Wisconsin, to Romulus, New York – have protested them. Researchers are studying possible cancer clusters on Cape Cod that could be linked to munitions testing and open burns there, and where the groundwater aquifer that serves as the only natural source of drinking water for the half-million people who summer there has been contaminated with the military’s bomb-making ingredients……..

ProPublica reviewed the open burns and detonations program as part of an unprecedented examination of America’s handling of munitions at sites in the United States, from their manufacture and testing to their disposal. We collected tens of thousands of pages of documents, and interviewed more than 100 state and local officials, lawmakers, military historians, scientists, toxicologists and Pentagon staff. Much of the information gathered has never before been released to the public, leaving the full extent of military-related pollution a secret.

“They are not subject to the kind of scrutiny and transparency and disclosure to the public as private sites are,” said Mathy Stanislaus, who until January worked on Department of Defense site cleanup issues as the assistant administrator for land and emergency management at the EPA.

Our examination found that open burn sites are just one facet of a vast problem. From World War I until today, military technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil. The array of scars and menaces produced across those decades is breathtaking: By the military’s own count, there are 39,400 known or suspected toxic sites on 5,500 current or former Pentagon properties. EPA staff estimate the sites cover 40 million acres — an area larger than the state of Florida — and the costs for cleaning them up will run to hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Department of Defense’s cleanups of the properties have sometimes been delegated to inept or corrupt private contractors, or delayed as the agency sought to blame the pollution at its bases on someone else. Even where the contamination and the responsibility for it are undisputed, the Pentagon has stubbornly fought the EPA over how much danger it presents to the public and what to do about it, letters and agency records show.

Chapter 1. Rules With Exceptions……..

Chapter 2. Debating the Dangers…….

Chapter 3. Awakening to Threats…….

Chapter 4. Risks and Choices…….   alternatives only seem to be deployed after communities have mobilized to fight the burning with a vigor that has proven elusive in many military towns. “Sometimes it’s easier for everybody to just lie low and keep doing what they are doing,” Hayes added. “Short term thinking is the problem. In the immediate, it costs them nothing to keep burning.”

The success in Louisiana could be the start of a shift in momentum. In the 2017 Defense Department funding bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, supported an amendment ordering the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate alternatives to open burning. ………

For Devawn Bledsoe, the foot dragging and decades of delay have led to profound disillusionment. For a long time, she thought her responsibility was to bring light to the issue. Now she thinks it takes more than that. “There’s something so immoral about this,” she said. “I really thought that when enough people in power — the Army, my Army — understood what was going on, they would step in and stop it.”

“It’s hard to see people who ought to know better look away.”

Nina Hedevang, Razi Syed and Alex Gonzalez, students in the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute graduate studies program, contributed reporting for this story. Other students in the program who also contributed were Clare Victoria Church, Lauren Gurley, Clare Victoria Church, Alessandra Freitas and Eli Kurland. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/open-burns-ill-winds_us_5970112de4b0aa14ea770b08

July 21, 2017 Posted by | investigative journalism, Reference, USA, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s local authorities want security measures: nuclear reactors a target for military or terrorists

Fukui governor and mayors ask Inada for added protection for reactors against North Korea attacks, Japan Times BY ERIC JOHNSTON OSAKA – Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa and the mayors of six towns and villages in the prefecture hosting nuclear power plants have called on Defense Minister Tomomi Inada to dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel to the prefecture to guard Fukui’s 15 reactors (including those being decommissioned) against a possible attack by North Korea…….

“In order to deter a missile attack, and in order to secure peace of mind of local residents, we ask that Self-Defense Forces be dispatched to the southern part of the prefecture,” the request stated.

In a 2013 report on the nation’s mid-term defense posture for 2014-2018, the Defense Ministry said it will strengthen cooperation with local governments hosting nuclear power plants and take necessary measures to protect them.

Nishikawa also called on the ministry to establish a landing area for helicopters that could be used if a large-scale evacuation of residents in towns near the nuclear power plants would be necessary in the event of damage at a reactor……http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/20/national/politics-diplomacy/fukui-governor-mayors-ask-inada-added-protection-reactors-north-korea-attacks/#.WXE0fRWGPGg

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment