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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

IS JAPAN STILL A SAFE COUNTRY TO LIVE IN ? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

10 Sep 2011

IS JAPAN STILL A SAFE COUNTRY TO LIVE IN ? Soon after the Fukushima Dai No 1 meltdowns, Emperor Akihito delivered a televised address to his people.  The almost archaically formal speech was so rare, that it was compared to the historic radio broadcast by his father, Hiroito, that announced Japan’s surrender after the atomic bombing of Hirohima and Nagsaki in August 1945.  The Emperor prompted an era of national reform and rebuilding. Six months later, the nuclear emergency may be over. But another disaster is becoming apparent: a psychological CRISIS OF DOUBT AND DEPRESSION that could prove more destabilizing than a nything that came before. Many residents are deeply distrustful of their government and, seem to be looking for an outsider’s judgment on that question.

IT HAPPENED AT CHERNOBYL TOO. Twenty years after the 1986 reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the World Health Organization (WHO) said psychological distress was the largest public health problem unleashed by the accident: “Populations in the affected areas exhibit strongly negative attitudes in self-assessments of health and wellbeing and a strong sense of lack of control over their own lives. Associated with these perceptions is an exaggerated sense of the dangers to health of exposure to radiation.” Russian doctors have said survivors were “poisoned by information”.  In Japan, However, it would be more accurate to say that people are “contaminated by uncertainty”.

WORD-OF-MOUTH NEWS THE MOST WORRISOME. Each day for most of the past six months, there has been a steady drip, drip, drip news: cesium found in the breast milk of seven mothers; strontium discovered inside the city limits; 45% of children in one survey testing positive for thyroid exposure. There are reports of suicides by desperate farmers and lonely evacuees, contaminated beef smuggled on to the market, and warnings that this autumn’s rice crop may have to be abandoned.

JAPANESE TOP- SHRINK ALSO WORRIED Satoshi Takahashi, one of Japan’s leading clinical Psychologists predicts the mental fallout of the Fukushima meltdown will be worse than the physical impact. He adds: “Individuals are being forced to make decisions about what is safe to eat and where is safe to live, because the government is not telling them; Japanese people are not good at that…Unlike an earthquake, he says, the survivors do not suffer post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) that soldiers experience, such as insomnia, shaking, and flashbacks; Instead, the fear of radiation creates a slow, creeping, invisible pressure that can lead to prolonged depression…Some people say they want to die. Others become more dependent on alcohol. Many more complain of listlessness.”

FOOD SHOPPING IN JAPAN IS AN ADVENTURE NOW In a country long famous for safety, hygiene and raw food, millions of people are now being asked to accept a small but persistently higher health risk, long-term contamination of their homes, gardens, streets and schools; and food that is now deemed safer if it is prepackaged, and from as far away from Fukushima as possible.  In the supermarket, where people used to shop for fresh produce, they now look for cooked-food, a shopper lamented:  “the older the food, the safer now…We are misinformed, WE ARE MISINFORMED! Our problem is (entrenched) in our society. We have to fight against it. And that seems as hard as the fight against those reactors(the nuclear industry)”.  She then expressed fears for her son, anger at the government, and deep distrust of the (hollow ringing)“reassuring voices” she was hearing in the traditional media.

A ZEN MONK TRYING TO BE HELPFUL Abe, a Zen monk who owns a temple just outside Fukushima city says his greatest concern is the mental well-being of his followers, and is committed to the “fight against radiation…There is a lot of information but huge uncertainty. That makes everyone uneasy. The politicians, bureaucrats and academics cannot agree on anything, so how can people feel reassured? We need positive action, but we don’t know what to believe….Many locals are farmers, who are despairing about their contaminated soil…Young people are leaving. In the past six months, there has been an increase in suicides. There will be more. If you don’t give people hope, they lose their reason for living.”  Abe allows people to dump the irradiated soil from their gardens on the hillside behind his temple, where it will be buried and covered with zeolite. He is also planning to decontaminate the forests with high pressure sprays so the leaves are less of a hazard when they fall in the autumn.  Strange how clerics often promise a lot, but seldom deliver.  When they enumerate action needed they really mean: Somebody do it!  Let me be you leader!

FUKUSHIMA DAI NO 1 WORKERS and contracted workers, were likewise in the dark.  One of the workers, let us call him ” T-san” was evacuated from the plant after the earthquake struck and returned almost two weeks later to join the containment operation. T-san said: “They didn’t tell us anything…Nobody mentioned a meltdown. We didn’t get any critical accident training or instructions. But we all knew the situation was very bad. I thought this might be my final mission. I know it sounds a little silly, but I felt like a “kamikaze” (WWII suicide pilot) who was prepared to sacrifice everything for my family and my country.” Since March, he estimates he has been exposed to 50 mSv of radiation. Under the government’s previous guidelines, this was the maximum allowed for an entire year.  At least 6 workers are known to have received upwards of 250mSv.  A pretty heavy, perhaps lethal dose!

TYPES OF “TRANSURANICS”(radionuclides) ALREADY DETECTED The Fukushima Dai No.1 explosions/spews of 12 Mar. 2011, scattered deadly , persistent, radiation like the debris from a firework display.  Such radioactive particles, were spewed according to wind direction, and the weight of the particles. Each has a different impact on the body. First and farthest to spread was Gas-light iodine 131, which tends to accumulate in the thyroid gland, but decays quickly, it was quickly detected as far away as Tokyo. Next came particles of cesium 134 and 137, which affect the bladder and liver with a half-life of about 30 years, – this contaminated the soil, water and trees of most of Fukushima as well as chunks of Miyagi, Chiba and Tokyo and remains the biggest problem. Then there is Strontium, which tends to accumulate in the bones and cause leukemia, It is heavier and spread less widely, but it has been found in 64 locations, including Fukushima city. The heaviest radionuclide, plutonium – with a half-life of tens of thousands of years has been detected in small quantities inside the plant perimeter, and may have been leaked or discharged into the Pacific Ocean along with more than 10,000 tons of heavily contaminated water.  OOPS! THERE GOES THEIR FOOD CHAIN, AND PERHAPS THE WORLD’S FISH AS WELL.

WHAT IS AN EXPECTANT MOTHER TO DO? Among them, is Mari Ishimori, another evacuee in Tokyo, who is due in Oct 2011. She is struggling to balance health concerns for her unborn baby, and pressure from her in-laws to return to her husband in Fukushima. It though Fukushima is a conservative rural area, many wives, are now arguing with their husbands. As  a dutiful expectant mother, as soon as she heard about the accident at the plant, she fled. “I love my husband, but I will never return to Fukushima…I want my child to have a normal childhood. But if we were in Fukushima,  I could never raise my child as I did; That’s hard!  I’m not sure if my husband and I will live together again.”  So Ishimori is now alone. Her first concerns are for the child she expects; so, she avoids eating fish, meat or eggs, and is deeply skeptical about official safety assurances. She adds: “I don’t trust anything they say. Tokyo Electric and the government have told us so many lies.”

ANOTHER MOM-TO-BE Sachiko Matsuyama (29) lived just 25 Km from the disaster, and discovered  two days before the Fukuhima meltdowns, that she was expecting her third child;  Since then, her life has been turned upside down, first by a desperate escape from the disaster zone, then by a growing worry about the effects of the radiation on the highly vulnerable fetus growing inside her.  Now, each time she goes to the hospital for a checkup, she is filled with anxiety that the ultrasound might reveal a deformity, so she counts and recounts the fingers and toes. The doctors have reassured her there is no sign of abnormality, but they won’t know for sure until the birth in November, and perhaps not for years later. For Masuyama, the worry has become so all-consuming, that she has considered abortion and suicide. “For the first two months after the disaster, I was focused only on survival… I became, depressed and so worried that I stopped eating. I wanted to die.”

NEW “LEPERS” OF JAPAN: THE “HIBAKUSHA”  Unfortunately,  deep prejudice, born out of ignorance, is being endured/suffered by the “hibakusha” (nuclear survivors)  whose children are sometimes treated as though they bear the contamination in their genes. The discrimination is well documented. Some are refused employment. Others are rejected as marriage partners because of medically unproven fears that their offspring may be born with deformities. Even so, the Hibakusha are also revered as “survivors and repositories of knowledge” about the very real risks or radiation. After the disaster, they were among the first to demand a greater sense of crisis even as the government was offering soothingly ambiguous words about there being “no immediate health impact”. – IN TEXAS WE SAY: NO SWEAT! – LIKE HELL!

TODAY IN JAPAN LOOKS ARE DECEPTIVE Watch the bullet train speed through a frame of distant mountains and sharp blue skies and this seems to be postcard-perfect Japan. But look more closely at the people, and you will see that many families now own Geiger Counters (dosimeters) to check their exposure. DVD chain stores have started to rent them along with the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Inside hundreds of school playgrounds, bulldozers are scraping off the top a foot of dirt to reduce contamination from the soil. Local newspapers and TV bulletins carry daily radiation updates with a breakdown for every neighborhood. Strange activities indeed!

IN LAND-RICH COUNTRIES people might want to just move away from the radiation source, but that is next to impossible when living on a crowded archipelago, with a rigid job market; Even so, thousands have fled, but most people in the disaster area will have to stay simply because they have no real choice.  Life in Japan might be easier if there existed credible  guidance from scientists and politicians, Unfortunately such is not the case. The country has just got its seventh prime minister in five years. Academia, and the Media opinion have been tainted by the evident/powerful influence of the nuclear industry; As a result, residents continue to flounder in their greatest worries: Contamination, and the daily need to suppress the “Fight or Flee” dilemma – One of man’s toughest choices since time immemorial.  WOULD I CHOOSE TO LIVE IN JAPAN TODAY?  No way!,  no-how!

My sincerest appreciation for a well written, empathetic and comprehensive story written by Jonathan Watts, for the guardian.co.uk.  This is my abbreviated version with added commentary. For the full story use link below.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/09/fukushima-japan-nuclear-disaster-aftermath

gonzedo

 

 

September 10, 2011 at 3:42 AM Comments (24)

USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT

01 Sep 2011

WASHINGTON, On 31 Aug 2011, a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Senior Staff member announced that NRC is refining a plan to change its rules for Nuclear Power Plants(Nukes *) originally intended to address “lessons learned” from the Fukushima Dai No.1 tragedy, to additionally address recent seismic activity concerns in the central USA;  Accordingly,  the NRC is updating its requirements for Nukes to resist earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. A process expected to take years.

QUAKE AND RISING WATER A NEW IMMEDIATE CONCERN  The new changes advocated by the NRC Staff, will now include requiring commercial operators of the USA’s 104 Nukes to take a new look at the risks posed by earthquakes and floods.  Amy Cubbage, a part of the NRC Taskforce, helped prepare a list of changes for U.S. reactors aimed at addressing concerns raised by the Fukushima Dai No.1 Tragedy of 12 Mar 2011, an subsequent results/findings. Ms. Cubbage said: “The full re-analysis proposed will take sometime,”  while there is no imminent risk from the design of aging nuclear plants, there is now emerging/ improved seismic data which seriously heightens earthquake hazard concerns in parts of  California, Central and Eastern USA.

“WITHOUT UNNECESSARY DELAY” NRC staff proposed NRC move forward on ordering upgrades to reactors with designs similar to the Fukushima plant, and safety improvements to “Spent Fuel Pools”. NRC thinks the changes can move forward “without unnecessary delay”, but gave no specific timeline. Other items identified by the NRC’ s Fukushima taskforce will need further study as part of a longer-term review, including its top recommendation to streamline its aging “patchwork” of rules and guidelines into a more useful/streamlined  regulatory structure. It is recognized that given the political climate, it will take years for NRC to adjust its regulations, and for the industry to implement the changes.

SEISMIC RISK REVIEW PROPOSED Separately, the NRC last Wednesday said it would require that plants evaluate their seismic risk, part of a process that started years before the Fukushima disaster. “In view of the potential safety significance of this issue, it is necessary to reexamine the level of conservatism in the determination of original seismic design estimates”,  the NRC said in a Federal Register Notice. While there is no “imminent risk” from the design of aging plants, there is higher earthquake hazard in parts of the central and eastern United States than was assumed when they were first designed.

NORTH-ANNA NUKE IN VIRGINIA UNDER THE LOOKING GLASS Last week’s magnitude R5.8 earthquake was centered about 12 miles from Dominion Power’s aging “North Anna” Nuke. The quake triggered a shutdown of two(2) reactors built more than 30 years ago to withstand a 5.9 to 6.1 quake. The “close call,” as some critics label it, led to demands from US Sen. Barbara Boxer(D-CA) and others, for new safety measures to protect such plants against earthquakes and other natural disasters. In a letter sent to the NRC on Friday, Sen. Boxer asked whether NRC believed the safety margins of the “North Anna” plant had changed since the time the plant was built. In non-sequitur fashion, Dominion says the North Anna plant suffered little damage last week, and that its safety systems worked effectively.  A Diesel generator used to power safety systems in case of emergency, malfunctioned after the quake, but three(3) other “backup generators” performed well, and there was no effect on plant safety. David Heacock, Dominion’s chief nuclear officer, said the day after the quake: “The point is, the station is in good condition with multiple layers of defense…We’ve already done extensive walk-thru(s) and we’ve found virtually no damage, except minor cracks in some ceramic insulators on a transformer”.

NRC STAFF WILL ADVICE THE FIVE(5) MEMBER COMMISSION on logistics for the changes on 03 OCT 2011, and how to weave in input from the industry, the public and an advisory committee. Senior NRC staff discussed the changes with industry and nuclear critics at a public meeting on Wednesday. Such seismic risks in the United States were highlighted last week by an earthquake in Virginia that may have shaken The Dominion ‘North Anna’ plant more severely than the facility was designed to withstand.

GOV CUOMO WORRIED ABOUT INDIAN POINT Nuke. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo(Dem), called the ‘Indian Point” nuclear plant in his state “a catastrophe waiting to happen,” noting that a geological fault was recently discovered near the site. Republicans in Washington however, are generally inclined to defend the Industry and its record, even though we are talking mainly about 40 year-old reactors, nearing the end of their approved life.

“NRC LOOKS AT EARTHQUAKE DANGER THROUGH ROSE COLORED GLASSES” according to California congressional delegation member Sam Blakeslee (R-CA), who wants the NRC to review the most recent seismic data, and apply the data AS IT CONSIDERS RE-LICENSING CALIFORNIA PLANTS.  Blakeslee (a geophysicist) representing San Luis Obispo, has taken the lead in pushing for updated seismic information on Nukes in California, including data on a new fault discovered near the “Diablo Canyon” Nuke in his district.  Echoing Sen. Boxer, and other members,  Blakeslee said: “Even after Fukushima, they( three members of the NRC Commission) rely on assertions from the nuclear industry”(remember Blakeslee is a Republican, and a geophysicist by profession).  His scientifically-based concern about the safety of his constituents DESERVES NRC’s ATTENTION!  Sen. Barbara Sen. Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the “Environment and Public Works Committee”, said in an interview she would press for an explanation from NRC members who recently declined to support immediate action on a list of safety recommendations from an NRC Staff Task force, and said: “I question their dedication to safety”.  Sen. Boxer said she also was concerned about seismic safety and evacuation plans at the “Diablo(Devil) Canyon” and “San Onofre” Nukes in California’s both now located in highly populated areas.

DEMOCRATIC HEAVYWEIGHTS WANT SWIFT ACTION. The task force issued 12 recommendations in July 2011, including reshaping NRC’s regulatory framework, and developing updated information on seismic risk. NRC’s chairman, Gregory Jaczko, called on the commission to vote on the recommendations quickly. At a Senate hearing earlier this month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) praised the NRC Staff’s recommendations but, like US Sen. Barbara(D-CA) Boxer, expressed concern that some Commissioners were not likely to approve action on all 12 measures within three(3) months. Sen. Sanders said: “I KNOW WHAT DELAY MEANS IN THIS TOWN…It means nothing is going to happen.” In the interview on 26 Aug 2011(Friday), Sen. Boxer complained of a “pattern of delay at the NRC” and said the majority of her committee was committed to pressing for faster action.  Sen. Boxer has found an ally in NRC Chairman G. B. Jaczko, who wants the commission to adopt at least some of the task force  recommendations quickly, but (3) Republican Commissioners said his approach was too rushed.

REPUBLICAN HEAVYWEIGHTS ARE IRKED BY NRC CHAIRMAN JACZKO, AND WANT HIM REMOVED (He must be embarasing them). During the last week of Aug 2011, Congressional Republican Heavyweights have attacked NRC Chairman Jaczko personally, and even asked for his removal.

Timothy Greten, a Policy Specialist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA), said at the NRC meeting: “We need to look, and see if we can learn lessons from anything that’s happened, whether it was the earthquake in Japan, or whether it was even the earthquake under Lake Anna, VA”

NRC STAFF WILL ADVICE THE FIVE(5) MEMBER NRC COMMISSION on logistics for the changes on 03 OCT 2011, and how to weave-in input from the Industry, the public and an advisory committee. Senior NRC staff discussed the changes with Industry and nuclear critics at a public meeting last Wednesday. Seismic risks in the United States were exacerbated last week by an earthquake in Virginia that may have shaken The Dominion ‘North Anna’ plant more severely than the facility was designed to withstand, or acknowledge. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko has urged that the work be complete within five years.  An historically accelerated timetable for the NRC.

Note * For simplicity, we usually use the term: “Nuke” to denote a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP);  Technically however, a Nuke is a thermo-nuclear device(bomb).

Thanks to The LA Times, 27 Aug 2011, and Reuters 31 Aug 2011 for quotations.

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MY TAKE

This article is a sequel to our 22 Jul 2011 article titled: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) ALSO SPLIT ALONG PARTY LINES

Three Republican NRC Commissioners are opposed to taking any measures to comply with NRC proposed regulations/guidelines.  The NRC Staff Task Force has added on additional concern:  Improved seismic data which seriously heightens earthquake hazard concerns in parts of  California, Central and Eastern USA should force plant operators to make a new “quake risk assessment”. Unfortunately, the NRC, composed of five Commissioners, includes three(3) Republicans on record as opposed to any NRC rules/guidelines changes at this time; They, and their rationale, are outlined below:

(1) On 20 Jul 2100, a day after the task force briefed the commissioners on the post-Fukushima report, Commissioner, William D. Magwood IV, posted a statement at the commission’s Web site asserting that the task force had worked “without the benefit of the full analytical resources of the agency.” Given its 90-day mandate, “it was not possible to give all issues the consideration they deserve,” he wrote. (LET ME DRAG MY FEET ! – IT REDUCES THE ITCH).

(2)Commissioner, Kristine L. Svinicki, also posted a statement that said, “I do not have a sufficient basis to accept or reject the recommendations of the Near-Term Task Force.” She said the agency should “proceed with the systematic and methodical review of lessons learned.” A VERY IRRESOLUTE COMMENT – GIVE ME MORE PROOF! (THERE IS NOT SUFFICIENT PROOF IN THE WORLD FOR IRRESOLUTE PERSONS – THEY AVOID RESPONSIBILITY AS THE PLAGUE). Both commissioners noted that the task force had found no imminent threat to public health and safety from continued operation of the nation’s 104 power reactors, or from extending their licenses(already looking to do so) no matter what!

(3)Commissioner, William C. Ostendorff, said at the 19 Jul 2011 meeting: I personally do not believe that our existing regulatory framework is broken.” (IF IT AIN’T BROKE- DON’T FIX IT). See there, no problem!  LET US THEN EXPLORE THE ROLE OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS IMPASSE.

THE NRC STAFF continues to diligently explore necessary safety changes to the nuclear Industry in the US, and to provide proposals to improve it, but to no avail.  Their recommendations are falling on ears deafened by politics, and the corruptive influences of the Uranium Nuclear Cartel.  It is hard to imagine how the NRC Staff can “keep the faith” knowing their best efforts and concerns are for naught.

NRC CHAIRMAN GREGORY B. JAZCKO continues to “take them to water, but he can’t make them drink”.  It must be a thankless, disappointing, and tough job.  We admire his courage and determination to do what is clearly needed to spare America from a nuclear disaster.   He can always say: “I told them so”, but unfortunately they keep saying: so what!

DEMOCRATIC HEAVYWEIGHTS Such as: Sen. Barbara Boxer(D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Gov. Cuomo of New York, and others, have aptly represented the concerns/will of their constituents, and as they feel, “of the American People”, unfortunately the Energy Barons wield an awesome force called BIG MONEY which corrupts absolutely.  It is sad to recognize the same MO works in Japan(and in most other Nuclear generating countries) and with disastrous consequences for Japan, and the world. We must point out that it was precisely such “Penny wise, and Pound foolish” attitude by colluding Japanese politicians, and “for profit” Nuclear Industrialists that led to the Fukushima Dai No. 1 Tragedy.which is not over yet – not by a long shot!

That means that the NRC continues to be hog-tied and impotent to make any changes to the Nuclear Safety status quo. As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said: “I KNOW WHAT DELAY MEANS IN THIS TOWN…It means nothing is going to happen”. To my chagrin, I think he is a realistic man!

gonzedo

P.S. I am happy to report that in Aug 2011, we had readers from 31 countries.  Top among them were the USA,  Russian Federation, Great Britain, and Japan.

September 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM Comments (49)

“GREENPEACE” SUES THE U.K. OVER PLANS TO BUILD 8 NEW REACTORS IN ENGLAND AND WHALES

“26 Aug 2011

Environmental Group “Greenpeace Intl. – U.K. Branch” said on 26 Aug 2011, that it has sued the United Kingdom(UK), and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne in London for: “Unlawfully ignoring the Fukushima nuclear disaster in planning new reactors…The secretary of state unlawfully chose to press ahead with his plans for new nuclear reactors at eight(8) sites in England and Wales, without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima disaster”.  Greenpeace asked a judge to review the government’s decisions in planning new reactors. Greenpeace submitted an 1,611-page legal petition to the High Court, and said it was seeking a judicial review, claiming that ministers were not taking into account specialist advice on the implications of the disaster on future reactors.

Greenpeace Executive Director, John Sauven said: “The tragic events of Fukushima have been a catalyst for governments around the world to look again at the safety and viability of their nuclear plans…Instead of following the lead of countries like Germany, our government has recklessly decided to push ahead with new nuclear power without properly taking into account many of the lessons from Fukushima or wider implications for the nuclear industry…We believe the Government’s failure to properly consult experts and the public after the Fukushima tragedy amounts to a dangerous attempt to cut corners and carve out voices of concern, in order to keep pushing forward with its favorite technology…Following Fukushima, a number of countries decided nuclear power wasn’t worth the risk or increased costs and focused on safer, clean renewable technologies; Instead, in Britain (despite election promises), the coalition Government is planning HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS(STERLING) MORE IN HIDDEN SUBSIDIES FOR THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY, and dragging its heels on creating the green jobs and growth we need”.   Greenpeace further accused the Government of “unlawfully” pressing ahead with plans to build 8 new nuclear reactors in England and Wales; without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima incident.

A spokesman for the U.K.’s “Department of Energy and Climate Change” said: “We are confident that the designation of the Nuclear National Policy Statement was lawful.”

Thanks to Bloomberg, 26 Aug 2011

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MY TAKE

WHERE IS THE “UNITED KINGDOM (UK)” ? Well…It seems to depend on who you ask.  Problem is, that since the decline of the “ British Empire” of Victorian times, there have been several politically correct names applied to the country.  Now “Great Britain(GB) ”, United Kingdom (UK), England, and Britain, are used interchangeably as evidenced by article above.

The United Kingdom(UK), is a sovereign state and a country, which considers England, Scotland, Whales and Northern Ireland as its constituents, even though each has evolved(morphed) into other forms of self-government.  The British Prime Minister’s website euphemistically uses the phrase “COUNTRIES WITHIN A COUNTRY” (Very politically correct/inclusive – be it true or not)to describe the United Kingdom. However, Northern Ireland considers itself  a “Province” of Great Britain.  Notwithstanding, globalization requires all countries to adopt a two letter acronym; so, “Great Britain” is internationally recognized as “GB”. So be it, you Brits! (fun intended).

NOW THEN, GETTING TO THE “NUT OF THE COCONUT”: To build, or not to build, 8 new reactors in GB, That is the question.  When Faced with a lawsuit from Greenpeace international,   The GB “Department of Energy and Climate Change” said: “We are confident that the designation of the Nuclear National Policy Statement was lawful.”.  NO ROOM FOR DISCUSSION OR CONSIDERATION SHOWN HERE! – Quite simply stated, the Powers of B have deigned the creation of 8 more reactors necessary, and the GB government has passed laws to support such a position.  At least the official didn’t say: What’s with Fukushima?, they didn’t even buy our MOX.  What’s to be learned from them? Who cares anyway!;  SO, BRITISH BIG BROTHER SAYS: WE NEED 8 MORE REACTORS!  But why would British Big Brother want 8 new reactors to be built in GB?  Because they can, and because there is money, LOTS OF MONEY , for all government officials(and others) involved in the process.  Almost certainly, they have a defensible argument to do so, and to justify their political decision.  Brits are very good at that;  However, experience has tought us the Nuclear Cartel pays-off (buys the collusion of) officials in all “nuclear generating” countries.  Go figure! About $10,000 MILLION per reactor…is a very politically corruptive figure. Just read my article below, and see if you agree:
BRIT GOVERNMENT AND NUCLEAR CARTEL COLLUDED TO PLAY-DOWN FUKUSHIMA, dated 30 Jun 2011.

Remember, The Nuclear(Uranium)Cartel not only pollutes our environment worldwide, it also corrupts our political systems out of shape. That, is their Modus-operandi.

gonzedo

 

August 27, 2011 at 5:07 PM Comments (4)

FUKUSHIMA GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE- RADIOACTIVE STEAM COMING OUT OF GROUND “CRACKS”

21 Aug 2011

AT ISSUE – WHY IS THERE A NEWS BLACKOUT ABOUT FUKUSHIMA IN THE WEST? Even when such news are in the best interest of the public.  Since Japan’s Fukushima Dai No.1 tragic events of 12 Mar 2011, the three (3) melted-thru Nukes, and spent-fuel pools, have released 30 times the radiation contamination amount of the Hiroshima bomb.  Worse yet, the molten cores appear to be sinking through the last concrete containment measures, and into the soil beneath.  Russia Today (RT) held a lengthy interview on 18 Aug 2011, as Presenter Tom Hartman questioned  Paul Gunter of  “Beyond Nuclear”.

WHO IS PAUL GUNTER?  AN ANTI- NUKE GURU SINCE 1976;  THAT’S WHO.  Paul was a 2008 recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award from the Tides Foundation for his work on nuclear power and climate change. He has appeared on NBC Nightly World News, The Lehrer News Hour, BBC World News and Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” He co-founded the “Clamshell Alliance” in 1976 to oppose Seabrook (NH) nuclear power plant construction through non-violent direct action that launched the U.S. antinuclear movement before joining  Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, and aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between Nukes and Big money. Gunter also served 16 years as Director of the “Reactor Watchdog Project for Nuclear Information and Resource Service” He was born in Mississippi, and reared in Detroit, MI.

JAPANESE DR. TASUHIKO KODAMA 58, Is head of  the “University of Tokyo Radioisotope Center Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology” in Meguro-ku.  Dr. Kodama is highly qualified to compile/analyze radiation data, and has been working to develop cancer treatment methods using isotopes;  Accordingly he is highly knowledgeable about internal radiation exposure problems.  Kodama said on 20 Aug 2011: “The total amount of leakage (radiation uncontrollably released into air, ground, and water)  is about 29.6 times the amount of contamination caused by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Assuming the source material to be uranium, we estimate the total amount of leakage to be about 30 times what was caused by the Hiroshima bomb.” Dr. Kodama added: “What’s more, the radiation (that we are talking about) will decrease at a much slower rate than after the A-bomb. When the amount of radiation is small, it’s enough to consider on-the-spot radiation. But when the total volume is huge, we have to think about how the particles will disperse…this happens in a non-linear manner, which is very difficult to calculate scientifically, because concentration is apt to occur in unpredictable locations. (WHO KNOWS WHERE THE WIND OR SEA WILL TAKE IT? )This will keep happening, such as when feed-hay for cattle was contaminated by cesium, and when contamination was found in tea and leaf mulch”. Dr. Kodama testified to the Japanese Parliament’s “Committee for Health, Labor and Welfare” last 27 July 2011. HIS TESTIMONY MADE HEADLINES IN JAPAN, BUT NOT ANYWHERE ELSE. – VIVA LA WESTERN PRESS! And no thanks to the Mighty Murdoch Media Empire.

WHY THE NEWS BLACKOUT? “So what exactly is going on there? asked Hartmann on Russia Today, and why the media black-out on this increasingly dangerous nuclear disaster?” It has been 160 days since the disastrous events at Fukushima Dai No.1 Nuke plant, but information is still not forthcoming.  Paul Gunter joined Hartmann to shed light on what the news media is blacking out. Gunter added that fuel fragments found over 1-1/2 miles away from the facility did not come from explosions of the “spent fuel pools”.  According to the U. S.A. Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC)  the fuel fragments were ejected from the nuclear core(s) from the beginning.”  Gunter told Hartmann, “the first thing to be controlled in nuclear incidents is information. There’s an incredible lag-time (months) before we really understand the situation,”  Hartmann reiterated that the catastrophe is releasing 20 to 29 times more contamination than the Hiroshima bomb but he did not see Dr. Kodama’s new data “in a single newspaper in the United States.” Question is: Why not?  Hartman thinks that a GLOBAL NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS IN CONTROL OF THE NEWS MEDIA “We’re really dependent on “Indy-media” these days,” he said. “Shows like yours, like what’s on Blogs, and, Youtube; this is where news on Fukushima breaks first.”- PLEASE SEE THE LAST PARA

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ALSO AT ISSUE IS THE LATEST OMINOUS FUKUSHIMA DEVELOPMENT – STEAMY GROUND CRACKS

BY-CRACKY! THINGS ARE REALLY GETTING WORSE. As the molten cores sink into the ground, increasing the nuclear plant’s lethality, an unidentified Fukushima Dai No.1 employee said: “A LOT OF CRACKS CAME UP IN THE GROUND. Massive steam is coming up from there. It’s too smoggy(stifling) here. Can’t see a thing. It seems like a nuclear reaction is happening underground; Now we are evacuating. Watch out for the direction of the wind”.  Gunter commented: “We know there have been three(3) melt-thru events…The reactor’s melted core has burned through the concrete floor of the buildings, into the Earth, and is reaching the ground water and creating steam…If this was in Nevada, it would be no big deal. It would end up in the dirt some place buried forever; However, most Nukes (including those in the U.S.A.), are built right next to water for cooling, so the water table is right there…if the melted cores are hot enough, they can separate out the elemental forms of water – hydrogen and oxygen, and that creates an underground explosive environment…The radioactivity readings we are seeing right now, suggest that the radiation level is off-scale(too high) for the instrumentation used by the workers…Five-hundred REM is considered lethal dose; This is 1000 REM coming out of these cracks. So, we’re seeing doses that could cause fatalities within days… the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) permissible radiation amount  for the public is 100 miliRem (mR) per year; This is one million  mR; so these are lethal doses that are (unexpectedly) coming out of the ground…(Meanwhile TEPCO)has been looking to contain this accident by building tents over the Nuke units which is kind of ludicrous(OR UNREALISTIC) of itself, and shows their level of desperation.”

Dr. Kodama told Mainichi Daily on 20 Aug 2011(Saturday), “What’s more, the radiation will decrease(decay) at a much slower rate than after the A-bomb. When the amount of radiation is small, it’s enough to consider “on-the-spot radiation.” but when the total volume is huge, we have to think about how the particles will disperse….this happens in a non-linear manner, which is very difficult to calculate scientifically, because concentration is apt to occur in unpredictable locations. This will keep happening, such as when feed-hay for cattle was contaminated by cesium, and when contamination was found in tea and leaf mulch.” TRANSLATION: ONCE THE RADIOACTIVITY SPEWS OUT, NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHERE IT WILL GO; THAT, IS THE HELL OF IT! AS FOR “CLEAN-UP EFFORTS”, THEY ARE OF QUESTIONABLE VALUE. – PERMIT ME AN ANALOGY:  If one goes to the tallest building in town, and shakes a goose down feather pillow on a windy day, what are the chances of recovering even a small amount of the feathers?  PROBLEM IS THESE RADIOACTIVE PARTICLES WILL BE HARMFUL FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

NEW STRONG QUAKE IN FUKUSHIMA REGION. As if man-made problems were not enough, mother nature unleashed another quake on the Fukushima region of Japan on 19 Aug 2011;  with a Richter 6.8 magnitude(very strong). TEPCO says: “the quake caused no abnormalities” at the crippled Fukushima Dai No 1 Nuke complex.  WE HOPE SO, BUT WITH THE NEWS BLACKOUT, WE REALLY DON’T KNOW –  DO WE?

To see the entire interview click on: www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2011/8/18/could-the-fukushima-disaster-be-getting-worse-hartmann.html  Please understand that this my attempt to summarize, and abbreviate a lengthy interview meant for multi-media.

BLOGERS ARISE! We reiterate that Blogs such a these, and such, are the “Thin Red-Line” against disinformation, misinformation, and outright lies promulgated by the Powers of B (as in Billions).  They are a very powerful bunch, and seek to perpetuate their power and financial interest at all costs.  Even so, The Uranium Nuclear Cartel has lost its primacy and public support.  It will go down with Japan; unfortunately for Japan, soon.

gonzedo

 

August 21, 2011 at 9:04 PM Comments (12)

THE JAPANESE SHIP OF STATE IS SETTLING IN THE WATER LIKE THE TITANIC

16 Aug 2011

NUKE INDUSTRY SERVANTS ? Japan’s Central Government as usual, has nothing to offer but PLANS…AND MORE PLANS.  There is a natural inclination to think such politicians are irresolute, uncaring, or at worst, criminally remiss in the performance of their duties: but in fact, they are JUST DRAGGING THEIR FEET TO SERVE THE NUKE INDUSTRY MONETARY INFLUENCES; And so, they just pretend everything is under control, and promise that soon it will be “back to business as usual”.  NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! 

IN OUR OPINION THE JAPANESE SHIP OF STATE IS SETTLING IN THE WATER LIKE THE TITANIC.  Mortally wounded by the tragic events of Fukushima Dai No. 1, it will tip over and sink when its industry begins to migrate elsewhere.  Predictably, the very rich industrialists always abandon ship first, and don’t really care if there are enough lifeboats for all. Just like in the Titanic sinking, THE BAND PLAYED-ON. The government likes it that way! No use making any waves UH! – I don’t know about that!

IMAGINE THAT! – now they plan to “shake-up” their  “Nuclear Industry Watchdogs” by April 2012; more than one year after the Tragic events at Fukushima Dai No.1 of last 12 mar  2011…A DAY FOR HUMANITY TO REMEMBER! (how could we forget ?).  PROBLEM IS, THAT GIVEN THEIR PAST ACTIONS/INACTIONS, IT WILL BE JUST A GAME OF “MUSICAL CHAIRS” (American parlor- game where the same participants exchange chairs at the end of each song).  Japan’s Central Government is clearly the “Best Government money can buy” and needs to be replaced as a whole.  Their inaction is costing Japan countless lives, and leading their country to financial ruination as well.  Japanese politicians with “watery eyes” are not really sorry, they are just peeing in the bath-water (you know what I mean, don’t you ?).  They may be getting relief, but the Japanese people are not.

JAPAN’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROBLEMS ARE VERY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE IN THE USA OR THE UK. A very wise Australian from Brisbane: John, wrote on 16 Aug 2011: “ After 20 ‘lost years’ of economic growth, Japan does not have the same mass unemployment, inequality and social unrest facing the supposedly dynamic free-market bastions of the USA and UK. Japan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP )does not need to grow each year because its population is shrinking; (Hence)to measure it against this benchmark is a failure of the western ‘grow at all cost model’. If anything, Japan’s stagnant GDP has shown us that it’s far better to have a more equal society with less economic growth, than a growing economy where the rich get all of the gains”  HE IS VERY RIGHT IN MY OPINION!  Even so, Japan is saddled with a shrinking economy, aging population, and a shrinking population rate, while its Fukushima related liabilities/reparation costs continue to escalate exponentially, with no end in sight,  and with endemic energy shortages created by its idled Nukes.

gonzedo

P.S. We are very happy to report that over 25 countries now have readers of this Blog.  Their greatest numbers are in the Russian Federation, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Switzerland,  Nigeria, and The Netherlands(formerly Holland).  We are grateful for their readership; specially since we know that the language translators are not always faithful to meaning, or even intelligible. WELCOME FOLKS!  TO TEXAS, WHERE WE TELL IT LIKE IT IS! – AND WITHOUT ANY DISTRACTING PUBLICITY.   Please ask your friends to join us.

August 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM Comments (2)

WHO SHALL PAY FOR NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTATION AND LONG-TERM STORAGE ?

11 Aug 2011

IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA the need to safely dispose of the nuclear waste at the hundreds of sites, including nine(9) where now-closed reactors once stood, has taken on new urgency in recent months, after the Fukushima Tragedy made it very clear that globally, “Spent-Fuel Pools” function as long term repositories; THEY ARE NOT.  Actually, “Spent-Fuel” is a misnomer.  Spent-fuel retains more than 90% of its radioactive energy (though not usable “as-is”) for Nukes and yet, it CONTAINS THE MOST TOXIC OF NUKE BY-PRODUCTS IMAGINABLE. A whole bevy of hard to enumerate and even read, names of short, and long-life “Transuranics”- Isotopes.  Some of these will remain deadly radioactive for millennia; If the world knew how to “clean up this mess” brought upon us by the Uranium Energy Cartel, they would already have done so.  SPENT-FUEL POOLS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR LONG-TERM NUKE WASTE REPOSITORIES.

PROBLEM REMAINS: WHERE TO SAFELY STORE NUCLEAR WASTE FOR THE LONG TERM. We must realize that this is rapidly growing global problem;  However, for the purpose of this article, we shall narrow our concern focus to the United States.  TRUTH IS: We too have failed to designate a permanent nuclear repositories.  Plainly said, after 50 years of producing nuclear waste, we still don’t have a NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY despite lip service by several administrations to remedy the problem.  In fact everyone says yes but, “Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY)!”

POLITICS OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN:  The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, was built at a cost of $13.5 Bn, and  is located in Nevada, but was never used , or is likely to be used, given the opposition of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  Political will has been non-existent.  All important politicians say: “Not In My Back-Yard” – After all they must be reelected if they wish to continue to “serve the people of their state”.  Such was the case with Sen Reid (D-NV) ; Likewise, by his failed political opponent, Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, even though she advocated expanded nuclear energy. Soon after taking office, Pres. Obama made it his mission to ensure that Yucca Mountain would never open; Accordingly, DOE Secretary Steven Chu, has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the site, and the Obama administration has tried to cut its funding. Legal challenges to the Yucca decision are pending.  If the Yucca mountain plan IS dead, the government has to find a new site and, the ultimate cost almost certainly will rise.

WE WANT OUR “WASTE FUND MONEY” BACK! Says the “National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners(NARUC)”, which represents State Public Service Commissioners, is suing DOE for simultaneously rejecting Yucca Mountain as a waste repository, while continuing to impose the fee on nuclear utilities. On 1 Nov 2010, DOE Secretary Dr. Steven Chu said:There is no reasonable basis at this time to conclude that either excess, or insufficient funds, are being collected, and thus we will not propose an adjustment to the fee to Congress”; Naturally, NARUC is not happy with Dr. Chu’s assessment.  NARUC spokesman, Rob Thormeyer said: “By articulating its current view that the Yucca project is ‘not workable’, the Administration is essentially conceding that there is no factual basis for any fee assessment in the first place; Yet, citing a congressional requirement for an annual assessment of the fee, the Administration contends that it has unlimited discretion to maintain a fee, even though said fee cannot be justified. This reasoning is tortuous as best”.  SO, THE NARUC FOLKS THINK THE ADMINISTRATION SPEAKS WITH A “FORKED TONGUE”;  Even so,  eventually we the public, will need to “pay the Piper’ for Nuke waste disposal -AGAIN!, Let me tell you why.

NOW THE BONE OF CONTENTION IS MONEY, A lot of money;  About $25 B collected so far by our utility companies, appears to have vanished, and no one knows for sure where it went, or where it is going;  Some say to the “The General Revenue Fund”.  Not surprisingly, the nuclear utilities that have been paying the fee would rather not do so. SAN ANTONIO’S NUKES, STP #1 & #2, PAY THIS FEE TOO.  It is this money, that NARUC, and their Lawyer friends want to get their hands on.  UNFORTUNATELY FOR US ALL: “It sounds like there’s a piggy bank, and there’s all this money that is available for a future nuclear repository, but there isn’t. Congress has spent it on other things.” The $25 billion amounts to little more than a federal IOU that will need to be repaid.  So said Richard Stewart, a New York University law professor and co-author of a book on nuclear waste policy.

SO WHERE IS DOE on this, their responsibility? – Mum is the word. I have written articles about the inscrutable Dr. Steven Chu Secretary of DOE.  He has been given the help of a “Blue Ribbon Committee” last Jan 2011 to look into the Nuke waste problem, and recently the Senate designated an “Assistant for Nuclear Affairs” to lighten his burden, or increase his efficiency.  Dr. Chu just pushes all help aside.  Recently, Damien LaVera, a spokesman for DOE said: “we fully intend to meet our contractual obligations for long-term disposal of these materials…we are committed to finding a sustainable approach to assuring safe, secure long-term disposal of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.” He also noted that the panel’s final report wasn’t due until January 2012. Oh well! – then we are in good hands.  DO YOU REALLY THINK?  I DO NOT.

THE BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON AMERICA’S NUCLEAR FUTURE, issued a draft report 29 July 2011 that said the U.S. nuclear-waste disposal program had “all but broken down” and suggested a series of fixes. One recommendation was an overhaul of what it called the “dysfunctional Nuclear Waste Fund arrangement”, The Commission was formed last year by President Barack Obama, after the administration’s decision to halt the Yucca Mountain project. The Commission includes former elected officials from both major parties, along with academic experts and representatives of industry and labor.  One of its proposals was to cut the annual fees collected from utilities, to match the level of federal spending on the program. Uncollected funds would go into utility-run trust funds, to be tapped when needed for the waste project. That would put the project onto sounder fiscal footing, the panel said, but would add to the near-term federal deficit because some of the utility fees would not be counted as current revenue. Still, the panel draft report said, “the bill will come due at some point,” because the government is contractually bound to remove the spent fuel. SOUNDS LIKE: Lets muddy-up the water, and let the next administration handle it, after all it is now traditional!  Some government we have! – That is the reason we are in the shape we are.

OTHER LIABILITIES/EXPENSES FOR  NUKE OPERATORS Beyond disposal costs.   Taxpayers are also potentially liable for damages suffered by the public from a nuclear accident, including those stemming from the spent fuel stored at commercial power plant sites. Under a 1950s law, Nuke Plant operators currently must carry $375 million of liability insurance for each reactor, after which an industry insurance plan would take over, covering damages up to $12 billion. Any personal injury or property damages in excess of that would be borne by the Federal Government.  Shades of Fukushima, but the problem is always collecting damages.  Just ask them.

gonzedo

August 11, 2011 at 1:49 AM Comments (8)

MOX PRODUCTION PLANT CLOSES IN N.W. ENGLAND – WHY SHOULD WE CARE ? READ ON

07 Aug 2011

The MOX Nuclear Fuel Plant at Sellafield, located on the N.W. England coast (border with Ireland), was closed on 03 Aug 2011, with the loss of around 600 jobs. The closure is considered one more consequence of the Fukushimaa Dai No.1 Plant Tragedy last 13 Mar 2011.  Recall that to our consternation, Dai No.1,  Nuke, # 3 (of four). Is loaded with MOX, and that it has suffered a Melt-thru. Well…this is the plant that USED TO make Mixed Plutonium and Uranium Nuke fuel(MOX) . Normally, MOX consists of about 6 to 10% Plutonium(the world’s most toxic transuranic – Isotope) the remainder being Uranium oxide.

THE MOX PLANT ABOUT TO BE CLOSED  was formerly known as Windscale, and is a former electricity generating site, commissioned in 1990 to reprocess “spent nuclear fuel”; Currently, Sellafield holds 13 tons of Japanese plutonium oxide for treatment, and mixing with enriched Uranium, to create new Nuke fuel.  This process has been viewed as a partial solution to the disposal of Plutonium which is the worst and nastiest (longest lasting transuranic Isotope) by-product of the use of enriched Uranium in Nuke reactors.  Now, it may never be known if it could succeed in that purpose, because the Japanese Nuke Industry understandably, has lost interest in MOX for the foreseeable future;  Worse yet, Sellafield appears to have been entirely dependent upon orders from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), even to the point where Sellafield’s current MOX manufacturing works cannot be economically altered to handle the latest generation of nuclear reactors in planning.

These days the MOX plant is known as the “West Cumbrian Mixed-Oxide(hence MOX) Fuel Plant”.  Allow me to tell you why.  Cumbria is England’s most N.W. County, and only came into existence in 1974,  Today it consists of six(6) districts and its County Head is Carlisle. In 2008 Cumbria had a population of just under half a million, and consists mainly of beautiful agricultural land. (sort of like Fukushima – Energy Barons love to pee on beautiful green land!).  Most people would say MOX What? – But then, most people don’t really care, and besides some things are best hid from the tax paying public;  So, understandably the people of Cumbria have adopted a “don’t ask – don’t tell policy”   FRANKLY, I HAD NEVER HEARD OF EITHER CUMBRIA, OR SELLAFIELD BEFORE – HAD YOU? )

HERE IS THE RUB, The Plant is owned and operated by the British Government-owned  “Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)” It was created at a cost to taxpayers £1.4bn since it was commissioned in the early 1990s;  Subsequently the plant , was set up to produce (MOX) fuel for use in nuclear power plants, with its chief customers the Japanese nuclear industry, and TEPCO. The plant was built in 1996 and became operational in 2001. So as a business expediency, the Decommissioning Agency became a “ MOX Commissioning Agency (now NCA ? – of course not)

The NDA denied there were any repercussions for the troubled Thorp Reprocessing Plant, although Thorp is also involved in generating MOX fuel, also made from a mixture of plutonium and uranium.  Another question is whether the Cumbria closure will prompt NDA to close the troubled Thorp reprocessing plant as well. The NDA denied that it was considering closing Thorp, and said the two cases were “unrelated” and that the business case for Thorp, which produces plutonium from other nuclear waste, continued to be strong;  However, the Thorp plant was constructed on the same premise as the Sellafield MOX plant(make it, and sell it to the Japanese).  Not likely now, is It ?

Tony Fountain, CEO of the NDA, (remember this is a government agency CEO speaking)told workers on 03 Aug 2011 morning: “The reason for this closure is directly related to the tragic events in Japan following the tsunami and its ongoing impact on the power markets. As a consequence we no longer have a customer for this facility, or (government)funding…the Plant has had many years of disappointing performance”.  Fountain added that the MOX plant has been funded in recent years by the taxpayer.  Its production had been the committed  to Japanese utilities to reusing nuclear fuel, and their support for the UK as a “centre of excellence”. But with the crisis in the Japanese nuclear industry, that route is no longer viable…The Hamaoka plant, owned by Chubu Electric, the intended recipient of the first fuel is closed, awaiting extensive reinforcement work.  Following Chubu, TEPCO were destined to take 50% of the MOX plant output; However their Fukushima Dai No.1 plant, is clearly facing the most extreme challenges.”  In a comforting note, Sellafield employees at the plant were told that there was “considerable scope”… for them to be re-employed in other parts of the Sellafield complex, and that it will take several months for the plant to close fully.

The NDA (CEO Fountain ?) said: “We have concluded that in order to ensure that the UK (I think he means British) taxpayer does not carry a future financial burden from the Sellafield MOX plant, the only reasonable course of action is to close the plant at the earliest practical opportunity…NDA will continue to store Japanese plutonium safely, and further develop discussions with the Japanese customers on a responsible approach to support the Japanese Nuke utilities’ policy for the reuse of their material”.

ENGLISH LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (MP) Jamie Reed, whose Copeland constituency includes Sellafield, see the Plant closure quite differently.  He has called on the government to lay out details of a potential plan to build a new MOX plant at the site, and said: “It is now absolutely essential that the new MOX plant is brought forward as quickly as possible. The market for MOX fuel exists and is growing, our plutonium disposition strategy relies upon such a facility and the industry requires it…gleeful vultures would seize upon the decision to close the plant and argue against the ‘critical national need’ for new MOX plant”.  HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL! – SPECIALLY AMONG IGNORANT POLITICIANS.

GREENPEACE AND FRIENDS OF THE EARTH  Director Craig Bennett said: The move showed nuclear power did not make economic sense…Yet again taxpayers are footing the bill for the “Alice in Wonderland economics” of the nuclear industry (THAT IS TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!) This money ( the £1.4 Bn) could have been spent developing the UK’s vast renewable energy potential, creating new green jobs and business opportunities. This announcement will be a tremendous blow to the (600) people that work at the plant – we hope their expertise can be redeployed to help safeguard us all from the nuclear industry’s existing legacy of radioactive waste.”

BRITISH BIG BROTHER SAYS:  “The plant closing had no implications for the UK’s plans for new nuclear reactors”.  SEE THERE – BUSINESS AS USUAL- I THINK THE SPOKESPERSON IS WRONG,  AND “WHISTLING PAST THE CEMETERY“… Any such new nuclear power plants under consideration would not be the kind that could use MOX as a fuel because that would elevate building costs; so he says.

MY TAKE

The signs are evident worldwide that the Uranium Cartel, as we have known it, has lost public support and its primacy; This, is in no small part due to the on-going Fukushima Tragedy.  This story is one more sign of the support erosion even in Nuke supporting government circles like the U.K. and France.  Meanwhile the Uranium Cartel Press agents are going full tilt telling the world more blatant lies and wishful aspirations for their future, making believe everything is still fine.  IT IS NOT!

Do you ever ponder why we never hear the details behind the News?  I they wanted us to know, they would report it.  WE TELL IT, LIKE IT IS.

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STORY BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN IT DEMONSTRATES THAT THE ACHILLES HEEL OF THE URANIUM NUKE INDUSTRY IS: HOW TO DISPOSE OF ALL THE PERSISTENT POISONS THEY PRODUCE.  IF THEY KNEW HOW, THEY WOULD.

gonzedo

August 7, 2011 at 1:04 AM Comment (1)

JAPANESE GOVT PLANS TO REPLACE THREE FAILED NUCLEAR POLICY MINISTERS – MAYBE

03 Aug 2011

Reuters reported on 03 Aug 2011 that Japan sacked three(3) senior bureaucrats in charge of nuclear power policy, holding them to account for a series of scandals which have broken out in recent weeks over the government’s cozy relationship with the power industry, and their mishandling of the ongoing Fukushima Tragedy.

Japanese Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, who oversees energy policy, said he “PLANS TO REPLACE three senior officials” in the ministry following the crisis at the Fukushima power plant, the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The three officials are (1)Kazuo Matsunaga, the top bureaucrat at the trade ministry, (2)Nobuaki Terasaka, head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and (3)Tetsuhiro Hosono, head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

Trade Minister Kaieda said: “I’m planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle…This is what I’ve been thinking for about a month. I’ll have new people rebuild the ministry.”  Kaieda played a key role in THE MIS-handling OF the Fukushima crisis, and has said he intends to step down to take responsibility for missteps, vowed to carry out major personnel changes in his Ministry’s personnel,  but DID NOT SAY WHEN, OR EVEN WHEN HE WILL RETIRE. The Asahi reported that after sacking the three officials, Kaieda himself intended to quit as soon as possible. Last month, he broke down in tears at a parliamentary hearing after being hounded by an opposition lawmaker about the timing of his resignation.  BUT HE DID NOT SAY WHEN!

Japanese Prime Minister(P.M.) Naoto Kan who has advocated gradually withdrawing Japan from its dependence on nuclear power, HAS EXPRESSED GROWING DISTRUST toward Kaieda’s Trade Ministry, who has even promoted atomic energy.  P.M.  Kan himself is highly unpopular, and has been fighting calls from his own party to step down; However, he was instrumental in the decision to fire the three(3) officials, per the Asahi Shimbun. The Government also PLANS TO form a new, more independent atomic safety regulator by separating it from the Trade Ministry, MAKING TOUGHER STANDARDS LIKELY. Hmm! Where have we heard that before? (our own NRC perhaps?) Just talk; that, is all ! IN SHORT, THEY PLAN A LOT, AND ACCOMPLISH MUCH LESS.

For the complete, contradictory and ambivalent story see:  (Reuters – no less!)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/04/us-japan-nuclear-idUSTRE77212020110804

MY TAKE:

When covering Japanese politics, Even Reuters has difficulty in telling the difference between PLANS and ACTUAL ACTION. – PROBLEM APPEARS TO BE that Japanese Politicians are so obsessed with “Saving Face”, that they seldom “Tell it like It is”.  Despite its headline, this article is not about “sacking” three politicians, but rather about “Plans to replace”.  Every negative comment made by politicians in Japan, is intended to shame other politicians into resignation, rather than to oust them.

UNFORTUNATELY, in Japan, and everywhere else it seems, Politicians are “case hardened” against negative comments;  Especially so, when they have “cozy arrangements” to comply with.  The same comments may be made of P.M. Naoto Kahn and Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, who are so sorry that they actually cry, but DO NOT RESIGN.  We do things very differently in the United States.  Here the Energy Barons always get their way, but they never cry – except all the way to the bank!  NO REASON TO BRAG, OR TO FEEL SUPERIOR, WE ARE NOT!  We are just different !

gonzedo

 

August 3, 2011 at 11:57 PM Comment (1)

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS! EVEN IN JAPAN (SADLY – SELDOM IN TEXAS)

30 Jul 2011

TORRENTIAL RAINS FORCE EVACUATIONS IN Japan’s N.E. Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures. About 9,000 people have evacuated out of some 400,000, who were asked to do so. Several spots of the two prefectures have seen rainfall exceeding 25 inches since last Wednesday, causing floods and landslides with significant loss of life and property. Two people have been killed, and five others are missing.

IN NIIGATA PREFECTURE The Igarashi River in Sanjo flooded, leading local authorities to evacuate 10,000 residents nearby.  A total of about 184,000 people(in some 59,000 households in seven cities and one town) were advised to evacuate.   Some were evacuated to enable work to discharge water that overflowed two(2) dams in the city of Sanjo. Evacuation directives were also issued to some 1,200 others(in about 300 households).  Prefecture Officials asked the Ground Self-Defense Force to dispatch troops to help rescue residents who are missing or stranded due to mudslides and other water-related disasters.

IN FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE the towns of Tadami, and Mishama issued an evacuation advisory to all of its residents.  About 4,800 people in some 1,800 households are homeless.

No one in government is talking about what role the flooding will have on spreading the radiation on the ground.  NO, IT WILL NOT WASH IT AWAY, IT WILL JUST MIGRATE  ELSEWHERE DOWNSTREAM, OR INTO THE SEA.

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ANOTHER STRONG QUAKE  JOLTS FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE early 31 Jul 2011; in the same region that was devastated by a massive 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami earlier this year. The U.S. Geological Survey(USGS) says the quake had a 6.4 Richter magnitude (that makes three(3) such 6.4 quakes in succession ).  The quake epicenter was at a depth of about 43 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean, near the east coast of Japan’s Honshu island, 185 kilometers N.E. of Tokyo. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the quake, and no tsunami warning was issued.

NO NEW DAMAGE – Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the latest tremor did not cause any new damage to the fatally damaged Dai No.1 plant.  MY CONCERN ABOUT FOLLOW-ON QUAKES CONTINUES TO BE THAT THE “SPENT-FUEL-POOL” LOCATED ON TOP of Nuke no 4 (already leaning to the outside of the building ), could topple creating the world’s first uncontrolled dumping (for want of a new term) on the grounds of  SEVERAL NUKE LOADS OF “TRANSURANICS”- EXTREMELY PERSISTENT Isotopes of all kinds. (Truly mean stuff).  THERE IS (to my knowledge)NO EXISTING TECHNOLOGY TO HANDLE SUCH A CALAMITY.   

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THEFT OF ABANDONED HOMES IN “NO -GO” ZONE A REAL PROBLEM. Prefecture and Municipal governments in Fukushima Prefecture are demanding compensation for victims of burglaries committed in the no-entry zone around the Fukushima Dai No.1 nuclear power plant.  Since the nuclear accident, there have been more burglaries in about two months, than in the whole of last year. Residents have confirmed losses from burglaries during short visits back home. According to Prefectural Police(PPs – tongue-in-cheek), as of 28 Jul 2011, there were 376 REPORTS OF BURGLARIES, involving property worth a total of about  $200,000.  Residents reason that since TEPCO caused the evacuation, they are liable…HMM!! It will be very hard to make that stick.  FOLKS, ADVICE FROM TEXAS:  Do not get lawyers involved!  Only they will get anything!  Here, there, and everywhere.

Hideki Ishibashi, an Associate Professor of Civil law at “Ritsumeikan University’s College of Law”, and an expert in compensation matters, said: “Because there was action committed by third parties, namely the thieves, the link of responsibility is broken”. SORRY ABOUT THAT!  WHAT IS SAD TO CONTEMPLATE IS HOW THIN THE VENEER OF HONESTY SOME CITIZENS EXHIBIT IN DIFFICULT/TRYING TIMES.  If this can happen in Japan, it can happen worse elsewhere. Remember New Orleans after Katrina? No one likes to -now!

P.S. We have received many “ SPAM COMMENTS” covertly seeking free advertisement for their stuff, or selling software to make me rich.  DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME, I AM NOT IN THIS FOR PROFIT!

gonzedo

July 30, 2011 at 10:29 PM Comments (0)

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE QUESTIONNAIRES – JUST A USELESS NEEDLESS IMPOSITION

26 Jul 2011

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE (STATE) is worried about health problems stemming from radiation leaked from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.  Such worries have been exacerbated by the finding of “hot-spots” in Fukushima City (some 60 Km from the plant). So, the Fukushima State government has decided to carry out health checks on all of the about 2 million residents in the State. PROBLEM IS: LENGTHY QUESTIONNAIRES – WHAT GOOD ARE THEY?

“DO I HAVE TO WRITE-IN SO MUCH DETAIL ?” asked Mrs. Makiko Kowata, 37 who has been taking shelter in the City of Fukushima after evacuating from Namiemachi (located within the no-go zone around the crippled nuclear power plant).  She was unpleasantly surprised when she saw the questionnaire from the State government in mid-July. External radiation exposure is estimated based on data about radiation in the air and a person’s activities. Kowata has been asked to write a MINUTE-BY-MINUTE ACCOUNT about what she did for the two(2) weeks after the disaster. She is also asked to write the amount of vegetables, fruits and milk she consumed through the end of March 2011;  However, since the disaster, Kowata has moved many times from evacuation centers in and outside the prefecture to her relatives’ and acquaintances’ houses with her 37-year-old husband and their three daughters.  She said the health check may be necessary for children;  But, as for me: “I don’t remember what I did four(4) months ago. If the government planned to conduct this research, it should’ve told us earlier. Then I would/could have recorded what I ate, and where I went…I wonder if precise radiation exposure can be estimated through this kind of questionnaire” – She ponders angrily.

ANOTHER FUKUSHIMA STATE RESIDENT Mr. Katsuaki Honda, 66, who lives in the Watarimatsuho district in Fukushima State, measured radiation levels in his yard using a dosimeter that his community association had purchased. The result was between 3.2 and 3.5 (mS) per hour – close to the outdoor activity restriction limit of 3.8 mS. Thinking it was a problem, he removed the grass from his lawn with a hoe. His grandchildren, aged 3 and 5, who live in the neighborhood, have not visited his house to play due to radiation fears;  Now, Honda says with a sadly bitter smile: “The other day, I met them at a restaurant and we were able to eat together,”

The State government also plans to closely monitor internal radiation levels taken in through food, targeting about 200,000 people from evacuation areas; However, it is likely that very little radioactive material will be detected, according to experts.  In addition to the fact that ingested radioactive material is carried out of the body in urine, radioactive iodine has a half-life of just eight days.  FOLKS, ALL THESE STATISTICAL IMPOSITIONS SEEM LIKE “MAKE-WORK” MEASURES THAT WILL HELP NO-ONE, AND BURDEN ANALYSTS FOR YEAR TO COME.  IT IS CLEAR THE EFFORT IS NOT BEING RUN BY SCIENTISTS, BUT BY BUREAUCRATS.  PUT PLAINLY, IT IS NOW TOO LATE TO HELP MANY CITIZENS, AND QUESTIONNAIRES ARE A WASTE OF TIME, AND A VIOLATION OF PRIVACY RIGHTS.

Makoto Akashi, Executive Director of Japan’s “National Institute of Radiological Sciences”, said: “I don’t think radioactive iodine will be detected. It’s likely that State residents were not exposed to high levels of radiation, but I don’t think it’s possible to make a precise estimate of their radiation exposure.” Some experts have questioned whether exact radiation exposure can ever be tested four(4) months after height of the radioactive spew.  Thanks to The Yomiuri Shimbun for quotations,  26 Jul 2011.

MEANWHILE THE CITY(Municipality )OF FUKUSHIMA tried on 24 Jul 2011(Sunday) to remove radioactive materials from school routes, and other locations in a the Watari District believed ( don’t they know?) to be a “hot spot” , by mobilizing some 400 experts and 3500 residents in the effort. Although Fukushima City, the State Capital, is about 60 km from the stricken Fukushima Dai No.1 nuclear power plant, its Watari district showed higher radiation levels than elsewhere in the city in a survey in Jun 2011.  A specialized cleaning vehicle (Mechanized broom?) brushed around 1.5 km of roads on routes; especially those used by children to commute to school, while residents removed soil and weeds from and around ditches.  With over 300 “experts” on hand, one hopes all necessary safety measures were observed, to preserve the workers health. If the effort proves successful, it could be applied to other local areas.  Now, the city plans to monitor radiation in the district after several days, to gauge the result of their decontamination effort.

DETAILS ON THE CLEANUP ARE SCANT; HOWEVER, WHILE WE APPLAUD THE CITIZEN’S SELF-SACRIFICE AND EFFORT (IN THE ABSENCE OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE)WE REGRET TO SAY CONTAMINATED SOIL IS NOT LIKE SNOW.  It will not melt or go away for perhaps thousands of years.  ENSURING THE REMOVED SOIL IS PLACED IN REMOTE, IMPERMEABLY-LINED PITS, TO PREVENT LEACHING INTO ADJACENT WATER; THEN, COVERED-UP TO PREVENT RAIN FROM ACCELERATING THE PROCESS IS A NECESSITY. 

“A WHOLE LOT OF SHAKING GOING ON”  Late Singer Jerry Lee Lewis never imagined such events: On 23 Jul 2011(Saturday afternoon), a magnitude 6.4 quake struck off the east coast of Honshu; Then, on 25 Jul 2011(Monday 03:51) a magnitude 6.2 quake struck, also with an epicenter 282 km northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 35.6km in the Pacific Ocean, 94km east of Fukushima State.  Both quakes were felt in Tokyo, but no losses or casualties reported.

NATURE TOO IS RATCHETING UP FEARS. Last week two magnitude 5+ quakes were felt.  This week, both earthquakes were in the magnitude 6.2 Richter class.  It is amazing no losses were reported.  Quakes such as this could have had disastrous effects on other parts of the world.  It is no wonder Japan’s suicide rate is significantly higher.

gonzedo

July 26, 2011 at 9:09 AM Comments (10)

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