nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Cheap, Portable Solar Panel could transform the solar power industry

sunThis Cheap, Portable Solar Panel Will Be the iPad of Renewables by Good News Network – Sep 24, 2016 A California-based startup unveiled a product this week that aims to disrupt solar power production, much like the iPhone changed communications.

SunCulture Solar Inc. is calling its wire-free SolPad, which resembles a large iPad, the “world’s first integrated solar energy solution.”

It combines batteries, software, inverters and solar panels into one device. Typically, a solar system involves installation of separate parts, increasing costs.  SolPad can be used off grid or tied to the grid, and uses batteries that the company says are safer than traditional lithium-ion ones.

”If the grid goes down, SolPad can keep delivering electricity,” the company said in a video unveiling the device in California this week.

“We’ve transformed solar — much like the smartphone revolutionized the personal computer sector, combining numerous components into a single device that’s significantly less expensive, more powerful and easier to use than conventional systems,” said CEO Christopher Estes.

The company plans to bring the product to market in the second half of next year……..http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/cheap-portable-solar-device-will-ipad-renewables/

September 26, 2016 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realizes

Risk of another Chernobyl or Fukushima type accident plausible, experts say : Broadcast: News items : University of Sussex http://rceezwhatsup.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/risk-of-another-chernobyl-or-fukushima.html

 “The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realizes.”
Biggest-ever statistical analysis of historical accidents suggests that nuclear power is an underappreciated extreme risk and that major changes will be needed to prevent future disasters
A team of risk experts who have carried out the biggest-ever analysis of nuclear accidents warn that the next disaster on the scale of Chernobyl or Fukushima may happen much sooner than the public realizes.
Researchers at the University of Sussex, in England, and ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, have analysed more than 200 nuclear accidents, and – estimating and controlling for effects of industry responses to previous disasters – provide a grim assessment of the risk of nuclear power.
Their worrying conclusion is that, while nuclear accidents have substantially decreased in frequency, this has been accomplished by the suppression of moderate-to-large events.  They estimate that Fukushima- and Chernobyl-scale disasters are still more likely than not once or twice per century, and that accidents on the scale of the 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island in the USA (a damage cost of about 10 Billion USD) are more likely than not to occur every 10-20 years.
As Dr Spencer Wheatley, the lead author, explains: “We have found that the risk level for nuclear power is extremely high.
“Although we were able to detect the positive impact of the industry responses to accidents such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, these did not sufficiently remove the possibility of extreme disasters such as Fukushima. To remove such a possibility would likely require enormous changes to the current fleet of reactors, which is predominantly second-generation technology.”
The studies, published in two papers in the journals Energy Research & Social Science and Risk Analysis, put fresh pressure on the nuclear industry to be more transparent with data on incidents.
“Flawed and woefully incomplete” public data from the nuclear industry is leading to an over-confident attitude to risk, the study warns.  The research team points to the fact that their own independent analysis contains three times as much data as that provided publicly by the industry itself. This is probably because the International Atomic Energy Agency, which compiles the reports, has a dual role of regulating the sector and promoting it…

September 26, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Ireland set to backtrack on its 2015 UN Climate deal already? #COPout

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Talk with Cara Augustenborg commenting on Ireland’s hopes for a fossil free energy system. Link to full Podcast here; https://soundcloud.com/user-951551250/environmentireland16-fossil

“We are part of the transition generation [for climate changes]”

In an meeting held by Friends of the Earth Ireland Cara Augustenborg began by bringing up the issue of cost.
Will the costs ignoring climate change be worse than engaging with it?
The costs the last few years to the Irish exchequer was 500 million Euro lost because of delayed spring Fodder crisis in 2013 and over last two years wettest winters with 150 million Euro`s in Flood defenses. Cara also said in her TED talk last year that lives could become more comfortable, warmer homes, lower energy bills, cleaner air, quieter streets, more connected communities and more innovation creating more jobs.

Focusing on homes and energy.

The Energy White Paper has hopes for 100 percent renewable by 2050
The deadline for new standards in all homes concerning the energy economy is 2021.
Future developments will have nearly 20 percent approx on the bills that we see today in comparable older homes. A new build efficient energy estate in Ireland has been built and has confirmed these savings.
Electric vehicles are a major hope but Ireland has some of the highest sales for diesel in Europe.
The bus system needs to be improved and waste/seaweed fuel options are being looked at. There is so far a lack of political will but she has hopes for the future by asking questions and building awareness.
Communities and High Streets would benefit by having the combustion engine removed and centralisation back to the high streets supporting the local community better.

The food sector

Reduction of absolute emission is necessary and Agriculture needs to adapt accordingly.
Farmers have reported problems with fields being flooded beyond use. She recommends that flood defenses could be done upstream utilising these farmlands whilst reimbursing the farmers to build natural flood defenses. Dairy Farming will also needs to adapt.
Jobs benefits?
Ireland currently imports 70 percent of fossil fuels. Saving this expense and creating new localised industry will create some 100,000 new jobs in the new energy economy alone. Also, 150 buses can be run using the waste from just the Irish whiskey industry. Waste from bottles and cups being recycled creates industry and again more jobs.
Cara did note that Ireland needs a refined waste system that does not include incineration (that works diametrically against the targets in the white paper).
Ireland is already missing out on this lucrative industry and Cara gave an example of a company that recently moved to the UK because the support from government is better in the UK than in Ireland (biomass).

Feed in tariffs, Government support or Waiting for Godot?

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Feed in Tariffs are not available for communities and individuals that wish to invest in Wind Solar and biomass. She pointed out the need for greater engagement with civil society and that local communities stand to benefit greatly.
On the 1 sept last year, head of the Irish Government, Enda Kenny said that he would support the UN sustainability Summit resolution. Yet as 62,000 people a day are being made homeless directly by climate change (As an example 500,000 people have been relocated from only Bangladesh because of the flooding and ruined farmlands.), Ireland is one of only two countries that will fail its targets by some 70 percent and for the next two years there is no incentive to lower fossil fuel use in fact Cara said that it is an incentive to up the total national use and make the agreement in two years less painful.

“This is a clarifying moment for Ireland” She said

There is no evidence that the government wants to make any changes. Countering forces to the status quo  in the renewable energy side can be found in business and local communities but not the government or media.

Friends of the Earth, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland • 353 1 6394652 • info@foe.iewww.foe.ie

Posted and transcribed (loosely) from the audio link by Shaun McGee ; https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/fossil-free-future-for-ireland-friends-of-the-earth-ireland-sept-22-2016-with-cara-augustenborg/

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forgotten Archives: SELLAFIELD AND THE SUFFERING CHILDREN

Radiation Free Lakeland

observer-magOBSERVER MAGAZINE 28th May 1989

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: SELLAFIELD AND THE SUFFERING CHILDREN

Ellie de Cordova lived at Whitehaven, nine miles away from the nuclear reprocessing plant of Sellafield. At the age of four, she died of leukaemia, a type of cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow. Eighteen other children within 20 miles of Sellafield have also developed leukaemia. Now their parents are united to sue British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. They explain why in our special feature.

Nineteen children living with 20 miles of the Sellafield nuclear plant have developed leukaemia, a cancer affecting their blood and bone marrow. In a few weeks’ time their parents will begin proceedings to sue British Nuclear Fuels for compensation. If they win, it will make legal history. Four of these families have told their story exclusively to the Observer. Report by Alison Whyte and Annabel Ferriman. Photographs by Christopher Pillitz.

Lyn Marr…

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September 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 25 Energy News

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Science and Technology:

¶ Over 200 experts met in Oxford last week to reexamine Earth’s deadline for human sustainability. They concluded that even with most nations’ promised contributions to carbon reduction counted, Earth is currently on a path toward at least 2.7° C of warming. Nevertheless, the goal should be lowered from 2.0° C to 1.5° C. [CleanTechnica]

Forest and clouds Forest and clouds

World:

¶ After five years of breakneck growth in the supply, China’s electricity demand is stagnating along with a pause in the nation’s economic expansion. The government has started re-calibrating subsidies for the business. Installations of new wind and solar farms are expected to drop 11% in 2017 from this year’s record high. [The Detroit News]

¶ A report from the Grattan Institute said the blame for July’s high power prices in South Australia should not be placed on renewables. It highlighted the need for…

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September 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Public-land Seizure Extremists Advance Bills in US House, Senate

Mining Awareness +

Grand Canyon NPS
Grand Canyon, National Park Service photo
Press Release from The Center for Biological Diversity:
September 22, 2016

Public-land Seizure Extremists Advance Bills in House, Senate

WASHINGTON— Bills pending in the U.S. Senate and House would block the creation of new monuments and national parks, put state and private interests ahead of protecting America’s public lands, and effectively turn millions of acres of federal land in Utah over to industry profiteers.

Anti-public-lands extremists are trying to advance four bills in the Senate and House natural resources committees today despite public opinion or defeats in western state legislatures.

The three bills scheduled for a hearing are: Senate Bill 437, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); S.B. 1416, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.); and S.B. 3317, sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The fourth bill that will be marked up is the so-called “Public Lands Initiative,” H.R. 5780, developed by House…

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September 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 24 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “How the jaw-dropping fall in solar prices will change energy markets” • Every time solar prices have been bid lower, they have been met with howls of derision by less cost-competitive rivals. The multiple bids for solar power below $30/MWh on a 350-MW tender in Abu Dhabi suggest the projects are financially viable. [RenewEconomy]

Abengoa solar plant in Chile (Photo from Ministerio  Bienes Nacionales, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons) Abengoa solar plant in Chile (Photo from Ministerio
Bienes Nacionales, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ According to Navigant Research’s Wind Turbine Order Tracker 3Q16, published this week, Vestas received 3.5 GW of wind turbine orders during the first six months of 2016, leading all other vendors in terms of orders received. In total, during the first half of the year, global wind turbine orders came to nearly 13.5 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Talking to an Indian media outlet, Suzlon Energy’s Chief Technology Officer said that his company will…

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September 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima Children Fund

Some people ask me how they can help the Fukushima  victims, and especially the children not evacuated and condemned to live in highly contaminated environment.

You may help with a donation the Fukushima Children’s Fund.

Fukushima Children’s Fund has promoted the movement of collecting donations and of donating food radiation measuring instruments and whole-body radiation detectors (whole-body counters).

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F.C.F. has also undertaken a recuperation project for the children living in radioactive contamination areas. We hope this recuperation in a radiation-free place will help the children to decrease their internal radiation exposure and strengthen their immune system.

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Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

http://fukushimachildrensfund.org/english/cooperate#kaisoku

About Fukushima Children’s Fund

F.C.F. was established in June in 2011 about three months after the outset of the Fukushima nuclear incident.

For the Fukushima nuclear incident victims, F.C.F. as a sister group of the Chernobyl Children’s Fund, Japan is now trying to make the most of its twenty years of experience with the Chernobyl nuclear incident victims.

Chief Secretary Shin’ichi Kurobe (a pediatrician / a medical adviser of the C.C.F.J.)
Organizers Yukiko Mukai (an organizer of the C.C.F.J.) and others

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The Profile of Shin’ichi Kurobe

Mr. Kurobe, born in Tokyo in 1941, graduated with a degree in medicine from Keio University. He worked as a pediatrician at Saitama National Hospital, at Fukiage Kyoritsu Clinic, and at Horinouchi Clinic. Since 2012 he has worked as the director of the Suzushiro Clinic.

He started the movement of reducing medical radiation exposure and achieved one of his goals, the abolition of chest x-ray exams at elementary and junior-high schools in Japan. It was because he saw many people who unnecessary exposed to radiation as a result of careless x-ray exams. Hearing about his achievement, C.C.F.J. asked him to be its adviser.

After the March 2011 nuclear incident, he became the head of Fukushima Children’s Fund in order to support the Japanese children.

Recovery Project in Southern Japan, in Kumi-no-sato, Kumejima Island, Okinawa

Voices from mothers”

We have become healthy both physically and mentally, and I have realized the splendor of Kumi-no-sato. I felt as if I gradually got out of my shell which I had shut myself up in since the Fukushima nuclear incident. Kumi-no-sato is a sacred place of healing. I now realize that we are so lucky to receive loving kindness from everyone.

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In Fukushima prefecture, people under the age of 18 started receiving medical care for free, the development of hospitals and inpatient facilities is underway after the nuclear power incident. Even more important than that, I am convinced in order to protect the children from diseases, facilities such as Kumi-no-Sato are necessary.

Since the nuclear power incident, I live in constant fear and I feel that I cannot overcome such fear. Last year my children often fell ill as well; my eldest son has recently complained about chest pain. I am concerned about the influence of long-term low-dose exposure on the children’s health. We took part in this activity because I wanted to allow my children to maintain their health, away from contaminated areas.

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Warm climate, blue sky, the beautiful sea — my heart was uplifted from the moment of our arrival at Kumejima Airport. I was impressed so much by the welcoming faces of volunteer workers. Great people got together for us and we were treated very well.
During our days in Kumi-no-Sato, mothers from the area prepared our meals with love and care, helping us to feel that we were getting better. The children happily played outside, taking walks, picking up stones and leaves, and they ran barefoot in the grass; we mothers were happy to hang laundry outside. I felt more than ever the gratitude of having clean air, earth and water. What bliss to watch the children play with joy! It was a happy time.

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At Kumi-no-sato Mr. Hirokawa, a photo journalist/the founder of this initiative, talked to us about episodes based on his experiences. His story eerily rang exactly true in my mind. I was moved by his strength of dedication, trying to “protect children”. I felt that sharing the truth and accepting the truth is important.

At the thyroid screening during our stay, I was at first told for my own part that my thyroid was perfect. Then my 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons were diagnosed with many cysts.” I unwillingly acknowledged it as true, being painfully aware of the harshness of reality.

One day I was asked by my second son “Am I going to die soon?”
It is not just a matter of thyroid problem; there are various concerns and health hazards.

I want to leave Fukushima if possible, but my husband has no intention of ending his business that he inherited from his grandfather. If it comes to evacuation, it will be only the children and me. I cannot decide to leave because it would tear my family apart. I have often asked myself if it is really safe for us to keep living in Fukushima Pref. though.

Already I feel as if Kumi-no-sato is a second home for us. I would like to thank the people of Kumejima for their generosity and hospitality. We hope a lot of children from Fukushima can visit Kumi-no-Sato and become healthy in those lovely surroundings. We would like to ideally visit once every six months to maintain our health.
We need the continued support of everyone and even more people in the future. I hope you will cooperate with us and support us. I am thinking of starting a fundraising campaign of my own. Without having to sacrifice our children’s bright futures, I want to be creative in the process of doing this. Thank you very much.
 
Abe Emi (Iwaki City, Fukushima Pref.)

We’d at least like to take our kids to recuperate regularly
I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality. I was able to take my children who have been having health problems such as asthma since last year to recuperate, and I would like to thank those who supported us.

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In an environment where we didn’t have to worry about playing, touching, and eating, we never imagined being so happy in our ordinary lives.

It’s been more than a month since we came back from Kumi-no-sato. Now in Fukushima Pref., I go out with a Geiger counter (dosimeter) in my hand and check where the food comes from. I was getting used to it, but then remembered that it’s not normal to live this way.

In Iwaki City where I live, there are the mountains and the sea. We used to go on a picnic in spring, swimming in the sea and the river and catching insects in summer, gathering acorns/chestnuts and harvesting potatoes in fall…, but because of the nuclear incident, we can’t do that anymore. Every spring, we used to look forward to harvesting strawberries and bamboo shoots in our garden. However, nowadays we should limit the time with a portable Geiger counter in hand even when playing in the park.

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In Kumejima, we spent time outdoors, without checking the clock from morning until evening, swimming in the sea, lying in the grass, and touching all manner of living things. The children were all so happy throughout our stay there, and I felt so satisfied to raise my kids in nature.

I am glad to have met and talked to the volunteer workers of Kumi-no-sato, as well as the mothers from Fukushima, whom I still keep in touch with. In particular, the meeting with Mr. Hirokawa was very important to learn the facts. Hardly ever has the truth been revealed neither on TV nor in the newspapers, and I wasn’t sure how much to believe on the internet. But after talking to Mr. Hirokawa, I felt more at ease with myself.

I often think of seeking refuge somewhere. If we were to evacuate, it would be for 15 years until our kids turn 20. Families who are split and living in two different places may have difficult lives. Then, with my husband, starting a new life in a new place may involve some big risks. Most probably we both would have to work to make ends meet. In an area with no relatives close by, we are not sure if we can both keep working. For many different reasons, there are many families who can’t leave Fukushima. For those reasons, we would at least like to take our kids to recuperate regularly.

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I am worried that the nuclear incident in Fukushima will be forgotten. But I get encouraged from people all over Japan who support and think of Fukushima’s children. I strongly wish more and more people will look at this problem.
K. H. (Iwaki City, Fukushima Pref.)

» You Can Help
Will you join us as a fellow member?
< Annual membership fee >
10,000 yen for special members
3,000 yen for regular members
2,000 yen for student members
* Donations are included in the membership fees.
Remittance from overseas
US dollar bank account
< The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ >
BENEFICIARY’S BANK/ACCOUNTBANK :
THE BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ, LTD
3-7, KAGURAZAKA, SHINJYUKU-ku, TOKYO 162-0825, JAPAN
BENEFICIARY’S BRANCH:
KAGURAZAKA BRANCH
SWIFT/BIC:
BOTKJPJT
ACCOUNT NAME:
Fukushima Children’s Fund
c/o Mukai residence Tate 2-3-4 409 Shiki City Saitama Pref. 353-0006, JAPAN
ACCOUNT NUMBER:
052 - 0064011
The regulation of Fukushima Children’s Fund
  • Official name: Fukushima Children’s Fund(Mirai-no Fukushima Kodomo Kikin)
  • Purpose: Publicity and fund-raising for Fukushima nuclear victims
  • Membership fees: 10,000 yen for special members, 3,000 yen for regular members, 2,000 yen for student members *
  • Executives: F.C.F. has a chief secretary and several organizers. An accountant and an auditor are chosen amongst organizers.
  • Each member is to promote their activities independently and creatively.
  • Our activities are announced through publicity such as printing, emails, internet.
  • The general meeting is held once a year to report about our activity and give the annual financial report.
    • Office:
    • c/o Mukai residence  Tate 2-3-4-409 Shiki City, Saitama Pref. 353-0006, Japan
    • How to make inquiry:
    • E-Mail fromcherno0311@ yahoo.co.jp
  • History: F.C.F. was established on June 1st, 2011. (the fiscal year starts on June 1st and ends on May 31st.)
* A part of the membership fee is included in donations.
* The annual management expenditure is to be within 10 percent of the total amount of donations.

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

How does the Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor work?

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The Japanese government is moving toward decommissioning the Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture. The Mainichi answers common questions readers may have about what kind of reactor Monju is, and the state of international research on other fast-breeder reactors.

Question: The Monju reactor is supposedly a power generating device, but how does it work?

Answer: The reactor uses one of three high-speed neutrons that are released when plutonium-239 undergoes nuclear fission, causing more plutonium-239 to undergo nuclear fission and creating heat. The other two neutrons are collided with uranium-238 — which is not usable by normal nuclear reactors — to create more plutonium-239. The reactor is called a “fast-breeder” because it uses “fast” neutrons to “breed” more nuclear fuel.

Q: What were the original research objectives at Monju?

A: Generally, the development process of fast-breeder reactors is to create an experimental reactor followed by a prototype reactor, a testing reactor and then a practical-use reactor. Monju is at the second of these stages. Its research objectives included improving nuclear safety and reducing nuclear waste.

Q: What are other countries’ fast-breeder reactor programs like?

A: There are few countries that are actively involved in this kind of research. One example is Russia, which has been running its prototype reactor “BN-600” since 1980 and in 2015 it began power production at a testing reactor called “BN-800.” Russia aims to have a practical-use reactor by around 2030. Meanwhile, since 2011, China has been generating power at its testing reactor “CEFR,” and it is also aiming for a practical-use reactor by around 2030. India also planned to start a prototype reactor this year, but its plan has fallen behind schedule.

Q: What about in developed countries?

A: France is planning to begin running a reactor called ASTRID around the year 2030. However, rather than producing nuclear fuel, this reactor is primarily aimed at shortening the radioactive life of nuclear waste products, recovering resources and otherwise dealing with the issue of nuclear waste. France is aiming for commercial operation of the reactor in the 2040s.

On the other hand, the United States, after putting its prototype reactor development plans on indefinite hold in 1977 due to concerns about costs and nuclear proliferation, canceled its fast-breeder reactor plans. In 1991, Germany canceled its construction of a prototype reactor, partially due to financial difficulties. In 1994, the United Kingdom shut down its prototype reactor as well.

Fast-breeder reactors use sodium for cooling, which reacts violently when exposed to water or air, making it difficult to handle, and accidents have occurred. Another point against fast-breeder reactors is that for the time being there is little concern that uranium used for fuel at nuclear plants will run out, reducing the need for creating more nuclear fuel. (Answers by Shuichi Abe, Science & Environment News Department)

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160924/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

 

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Possibly Turning into Another “Exotic” Tourist Destination

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Just like Chernobyl before it, the radioactive exclusion zone surrounding the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is starting to attract tourists, possibly turning into another of the world’s “exotic” tourist destinations.

Unlike the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which happened over 30 years ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant catastrophe is practically a recent event. On March 11, 2011 a tsunami that followed the Tohoku earthquake smashed into the plant, causing several meltdowns and the release of radioactive material resulting in the second nuclear disaster in history to be given the Level 7 event classification of the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Yet even though the scars left by this disaster are still fresh, it seems that there are already people who consider the radioactive zone surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant a tourist attraction.

The first project aimed at transforming the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into a tourist attraction was presented to the Japanese authorities in 2012, only a year after the disaster, by philosopher Hiroki Azuma, the author of the Chernobyl Dark Tourism Guide, and his group of fellow enthusiasts.

According to Azuma’s vision, people should’ve been allowed to visit the area and see the process of the Fukushima plant’s decontamination with their own eyes; and by 2036 visitors should  be able to approach the plant without the need to wear protective suits

Unfortunately, the prefectural administration torpedoed the idea, arguing that the word ‘tourism’ should never be applied to the catastrophe site.

But even though Azuma’s project was not to be, there are already plenty of companies organizing tours in the disaster area.

Hiroshi Miura, head of one such enterprise called NPO Nomado, told Sputnik that he first started working as a tour guide for people visiting his home city of Minamisoma, located 16 miles north of the Fukushima nuclear plant, back in 2012.

“In October 2012 I established a non-commercial organization Nomada and continued my business by creating a ’20 Kilometers Away From Fukushima-1′ tour. By 2014, just by myself, I had over 5,000 clients. In 2015 other guides and volunteers started working with me, and over 10,000 people participated in our tours,” he said.

Miura also added that the current situation at the nuclear plant is barely discussed by the media, except for the local prefectural outlets, and that the place where he used to live, located only 12 kilometers away from Fukushima Daiichi, remains in the same state as it was right after the tsunami, as no decontamination or recovery operations were conducted there.

Yuta Hirai, another tour guide working in Fukushima, also told Sputnik that there are people from all walks of life interested in visiting the site of the tragedy: scientists, students, former residents, and a considerable number of foreign tourists.

He also believes that tourism could play an important role in helping the Fukushima prefecture to recover from the ordeal of 2011.

“I believe it is important for the prefecture residents to understand that people from without are paying attention to them. They have mixed feelings about the incident, like ‘I want to forget but I don’t want to be forgotten.’ If we learn our lesson from what happened, if we understand that it must not happen again, then it could help the people of Fukushima to believe in themselves. There’s a tendency to pay greater attention to opinions from without rather than to opinions from within. So if more people from other prefectures see the situation with their own eyes, feel it and talk about it, then perhaps the current depressing situation in Fukushima may change for the better,” he said.

https://t.co/sDRHlJ7LpA

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Ministries spar as Japan focuses on fast reactor project in France

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The industry and science ministries were at odds over Japan’s shift toward France for nuclear fuel recycling efforts after Tokyo decided to scrap a “made-in-Japan” pillar of its energy policy.

The industry and science ministries were at odds over Japan’s shift toward France for nuclear fuel recycling efforts after Tokyo decided to scrap a “made-in-Japan” pillar of its energy policy.

Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy, trade and industry, stressed the significance of working with France, a global leader in fast reactor technology, after a Sept. 21 meeting of Cabinet members agreed to terminate the problem-stricken Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor project.

Seko told reporters that his ministry, which is in charge of the nation’ s energy policy, is pinning its hopes on joint research, including France’s ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) fast reactor.

ASTRID is a crucial project for both Japan and France,” Seko said. “Japan has already participated in the project and has obtained various insights.”

The Monju fast-breeder reactor and the ASTRID fast reactor use similar technologies but are different.

Monju was designed to use plutonium as fuel for electricity generation and to produce more plutonium in the process.

ASTRID is centered on generating energy by consuming plutonium.

In addition, ASTRID is at a more advanced development stage than Monju.

There are four stages in the development of a nuclear reactor: experimental, prototype, demonstration and commercial.

ASTRID is in the demonstration stage while Monju is a prototype reactor.

Japan and France are already cooperating in the field of nuclear energy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that Japan would cooperate with France on preparations for a fast reactor project when he met with French President Francois Hollande in June 2013.

The two countries also concluded a tie-up in technological development and cooperation for fast reactors, including ASTRID, in May 2014.

Prospects are brighter than Monju, and France is a reliable partner,” said an industry ministry official.

But the science ministry, which has clashed with the industry ministry over the fate of Monju, is skeptical.

It says the France-led project does not necessarily promise success, citing Super-Phenix, France’s demonstrator fast-breeder reactor that was forced to shut down after a series of accidents, including a sodium leak, like Monju.

The science ministry has oversight in the first two stages of reactor development, while the industry ministry takes over for the two more advanced stages.

ASTRID is expected to go into operation in the 2030s, but the science ministry said that schedule could face delays.

Sources familiar with the project also say ASTRID will likely cost more than initially expected.

Japan could end up serving as a cash cow,” a senior science ministry official said.

However, the industry ministry is not budging on its stance.

What matters is that Japan keeps alive its research on a fast reactor,” a high-ranking ministry official said. “Japan should not dwell on a home-grown project.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609220057.html

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan mulls legislation requiring local government approval for restarting Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant

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The underside of the No. 3 reactor pressure vessel at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, is seen in January 2014.

The Japanese government is considering legislation to oblige Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. to obtain approval from local governments if it applies for restarting its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power station, Jiji Press learned Friday.

The legislation is also expected to stipulate that the plant be decommissioned if Tepco fails to win such approval and is unable to submit an application for its restart within three years after the law takes effect, sources said.

It will be a special measure under the nuclear reactor regulation law, which does not require local government approval for restarting reactors.

The government aims to submit the legislation to the extraordinary session of the Diet that will be convened on Monday, the sources said.

All the No. 1 to No. 4 reactors at the Fukushima No. 2 plant have been offline since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami led to a triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

Although three of the four reactors at the No. 2 plant lost cooling functions temporarily in the 2011 disaster, they avoided severe accidents such as a core meltdown.

Tepco has not clarified what to do with the No. 2 plant. It is working on decommissioning the stricken No. 1 plant.

The Fukushima prefectural government and its assembly have been calling for scrapping the No. 2 plant.

The legislation could force Tepco to decommission the No. 2 plant because it raises further hurdles for resuming operations.

The government has yet to decide on details of the legislation, including the scope of local governments whose approval would be necessary for reactor restarts, the sources said.

The government allows the restart of nuclear reactors that pass the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s screening based on the stricter safety standards introduced after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

But the government sees a need for taking special measures for the No. 2 plant because it is located near the No. 1 plant, which caused severe damage to Fukushima Prefecture, the sources said

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/24/national/japan-mulls-legislation-requiring-local-government-approval-restarting-fukushima-no-2-nuclear-plant/#.V-YwkeuvirU

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada activist found guilty of harassing scientists over Fukushima fallout

Dana Dunford has sensationalized on Youtube for lucrative reasons the Pacific ocean contamination from Fukushima to the American public, having found that making the buzz was quite a good mean to raise donations from people .
He did threaten  those scientists with physical violence on his Youtube videos, calling his fans to carry out “justice”.

Though those scientists studies and research depending on funding from government and corporations may be subjected to their influence, I do not believe that threats of violence are proper nor acceptable.

I personally believe that exaggeration, sensationalism, to not talk about insult and personal threat are absolutely counterproductive to our antinuclear cause.

Only truth will set us free from nuclear. Only stating facts with solid reliable proofs will help us to inform adequately the people to become able to get this dangerous, harmful, obsolete industry stopped. Furthermore, any wild exaggeration can be later used by the nuclear lobby to discredit our antinuclear cause, such as in this present occurence.

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Canada activist found guilty of harassing scientists over Fukushima fallout

A Canadian environmental activist who waged a sustained online campaign against two prominent marine scientists was found guilty of criminal harassment by a court in Victoria, British Columbia, on Thursday.

The court heard that Dana Durnford, 54, threatened violence against Jay Cullen, of the University of Victoria, and Ken Buesseler, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, and accused them of underplaying the extent of damage to Pacific ecosystems from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Durnford was sentenced to three years’ probation.

I expected and was pleased with the judge’s ruling,” Cullen said after the verdict. “Mr. Durnford, on many occasions, threatened physical violence against scientists and others who have focused their attention and expertise to better understand how the Fukushima nuclear disaster has affected the marine environment and human health. Such behavior is criminal.”

Buesseler also welcomed the ruling. Threatening violence is “never an appropriate response to scientific findings you might disagree with,” he said.

Durnford, a former professional diver, has a large online presence.

His unscripted videos, recorded in a mock television studio, present what he purports to be research that contradicts mainstream scientific findings.

He alleges collusion between the global scientific establishment and the nuclear industry over the dangers presented by the nuclear industry and, in particular, the Fukushima debacle.

Durnford, of Powell River, British Columbia, did not respond to phone calls and an email for comment on Friday.

In a video apparently recorded shortly before the trial began this week, he alluded to trouble meeting court-related costs.

They bankrupted us in these court proceedings in order to silence us,” he told viewers.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/23/national/crime-legal/canada-activist-found-guilty-harassing-scientists-fukushima-fallout/#.V-WGbK3KO-c

 

 

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

This week in nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANOnce again, I have to admit, that however terrible the nuclear industry is, the climate threat is the currently urgent global danger. That’s because the “window of opportunity” to contain it is near to closing.    Global warming will accelerate as oceans reach limits of remediation. Climate change action can be stopped by Trans Pacific Partnership.

Internationally, the nuclear industry, notably in China, got  a boost from the UK government’s decision to go ahead with the Hinkley Point C project. Not everyone was happy about that. Russia felt the need to warn of the negative effect that would resound around the world, if the Hinkley project stuffed up.

Another secret and dangerous trade deal – the Trade In Services Agreement.

Risk of another Chernobyl or Fukushima type accident is plausible, experts say.

Practically permanent plunge for the uranium market.

EUROPE. European Court of Auditors see nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall.

UK.  A second successful nuclear convoy holdup by intrepid Scottish pensioner.   BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) are pro nuclear spruikers. Liberal Democrats oppose Hinkley nuclear plan – ‘very poor value for money’. Theresa May caved in, approving Hinkley nuclear, but the nuclear debate is far from over. Major challenges ahead for Britain’s new nuclear plans – warns EDF chief.  Scotttish politicians slam the danger, secrecy, of hazardous air transport of nuclear wastes.

JAPAN. Area not far from Tokyo hit by 6.4 earthquake. Failure of Japan’s 20 year, costly, Monju nuclear reprocessing project   FukushimaUnderground Water Now Surfacing in Fukushima Daiichi.  Panel to examine options for wrecked Fukushima plant. Fukushima unveils grand plan for alternative energy transmission line networks.

USA.

SOUTH AFRICA. High Court in South Africa to hear case against government’s nuclear power plan. . President Zuma signs secret Russian nuclear deal   South Africa’s Energy Minister is asked to release all nuclear-bid information. South Africa has no plan for dealing with nuclear waste.

CHINA. Further nuclear power development in China will require local public consent

CANADA. Canada’s SNC Lavalin marketing nuclear reactors to China.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Oh Hillary, did you have to sell out to the nuclear lobby?

USA election 2016Hillary Takes the Nuclear-Energy Option, National Review,  by ROBERT BRYCE September 22, 2016 She recognizes that public perceptions about nuclear power are becoming more positive. Amid the avalanche of criticism aimed at Hillary Clinton in recent weeks about Pneumonia-gate, the Clinton Foundation, and her never-ending e-mail troubles, the Democratic nominee actually made an important policy statement, one that puts her directly at odds with America’s biggest environmental groups as well as her own party’s platform. What did Clinton do?
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She endorsed nuclear energy.
In a candidate questionnaire published in the September 13 issue of Scientific American, she said that addressing climate change is “too important to limit the tools available in this fight. Nuclear power . . . is one of those tools.” She went on, pledging to make sure that the “climate benefits” of existing plants are “appropriately valued,” adding that she will “increase investment in the research, development and deployment of advanced nuclear power.”……….
She has also straddled the fence on nuclear. In 2007, she said nuclear “has to be part of our energy solution.” A few months later, she said she was “agnostic” about nuclear energy. Then, in early 2008, during a Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, she touted her “energy plan that does not rely on nuclear power.”
Nevertheless, Clinton has now come out in favor of nuclear. By doing so, she has broken with the orthodoxy of the anti-nuclear Left, a group that includes the New York Times editorial board, as well as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, 350.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and many others. Recall that in June, Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club declared that his group “remains in firm opposition to dangerous nuclear power.” Furthermore, Clinton is contradicting her own party. For four decades, the Democratic party has either ignored nuclear energy or stated outright opposition to it.
In July, the party released its platform, which says climate change “poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures.” But it doesn’t contain a single mention of nuclear energy. Indeed, you have to go all the way back to 1972 to find a positive statement in the party’s platforms about nuclear energy. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, voters who identify as Republican are twice as likely (47 percent to 24 percent) to support nuclear energy as are those who identify as Democrats.
Those poll numbers, as well as the Democratic party’s history, lead to an obvious question: Why has Clinton come out in favor of nuclear now? …. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/440274/hillary-clinton-says-she-supports-nuclear-energy

September 24, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment