Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Sabotage, defects, aging – shut down more nuclear reactors

safety-symbolNuclear power: reliably unreliable http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/nuclear-power-reliably-unreliable/blog/50384/

Blogpost by Justin McKeating – 26 August, 2014

With wind power filling the energy gap left by shutdown nuclear reactors in the UK, and police investigating allegations of sabotage at a reactor in Belgium, the myth of “reliable” nuclear energy is being exposed like never before. The nuclear industry tells us that nuclear power is a reliable energy source, that it offers “energy security“. Tell that to Belgium and the UK who are seeing significant parts of their nuclear fleet shutdown.

It’s been confirmed that the major damage that shut down Belgium’s Doel 4 reactor was caused by sabotage. Meanwhile, cracks found in two other reactors – Tihange 2 and Doel 3 – means they may never reopen. The three reactors make up over half of the country’s nuclear power output.

(Worryingly, there are 22 other reactors around the world that share the same design as Tihange 2 and Doel 3.)

In the UK, four nuclear reactors – at Heysham and Hartlepool – are out of action while defects are investigated.

There have previously been issues with nuclear power plants being closed in EU and USA at times of drought because of water shortages.

What fills the energy gap while these “reliable” nuclear reactors are shut down? Continue reading

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Seed’, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network

CONFERENCE: ‘Seed’, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network; Oct 4-6 in Melbourne; details  http://blog.une.edu.au/studentexperience/2014/08/26/conference-seed-australias-first-indigenous-youth-climate-network-oct-4-6-in-melbourne-details/ by ED | August 26, 2014 Climate change is impacting the oldest continuing culture in the world. As a young Bidjara man, I’m holding on to my culture through my connection to the land. This is why I care about climate change and this is why I’m a Seed volunteer. - Jarmarley Willet, 17

Seed: Australia’s first Indigenous Youth Climate Network

After more than a year of hard work, today I’m joined by young Indigenous leaders from across the country to launch “Seed”, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network.

Our vision is to build a movement of Indigenous young people taking action on climate change. Seeds need to be planted in the earth in order to sprout, grow, and to produce more seeds – representing our strong connection to country as well as a cycle that’s been going on for tens of thousands of years. We’re building this movement for our country, for our people, and for our culture.

Our plans are exciting and ambitious. In October we’re holding the first ever Indigenous youth climate summit in Australia, where we will bring 50 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders together in Melbourne, to learn skills from some of our best climate and Indigenous campaigners and plant the first seeds of our movement. We need to ensure that Indigenous young people from all over Australia have the opportunity to get involved. Can you help us grow our movement by sharing this video with your family and friends?

https://www.facebook.com/AYCC.org.au/posts/10152653974384491

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked after this land sustainably for tens of thousands of years, and this gives us hope that we can do it again. This is why Indigenous communities need to be front and centre of our efforts to solve the climate change – and why at the AYCC it is our responsibility to ensure that Indigenous youth are leaders of our generation-wide movement. Click share our Seed launch video with your family and friends.

If you would like to attend the summit you can register here.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

$15 billion in large scale renewable energy projects on hold, in uncertainty ov Renewable Energy Target

piggy-ban-renewablesThe Implications of Axing RET Sourceable, , 26 Aug 14 The potential demise of the Renewable Energy Tax (RET) is already taking its toll on Australia’s clean energy sector, with major projects annulled due to developers’ concerns about their economic viability in the absence of government-backed incentives……..

A total of $15 billion in large scale renewable energy projects are reported to be on hold as a result of jitters over RET, with next to no new financing committed during the past 18 months.

With Australia’s clean power sector already so heavily shaken by uncertainty surrounding the future of RET, what will the implications be for the country’s broader energy sector should the Abbott government succeed in reducing it, or bringing about its total demise?

According to a recent study commissioned by environmental groups, a reduction in RET would come as a huge boon for coal and gas suppliers, who could look forward to an additional $10 billion in profits over the next decade and a half.

Modelling by the Jacobs Group for the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF-Australia found that reducing RET’s goal to 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020 as advocated by EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy would provide huge economic benefits to these conventional power providers.

………While the big three power companies would reap huge gains from a watered down RET, Australia’s burgeoning yet still fledgling renewable energy sector would suffer from heavy adverse effects. Jacobs’ modelling also found that Australia would see a decline in new renewable energy investment of $8 billion in current dollar terms by 2040.

The Australian Solar Council said the country’s solar energy sector would be “gutted” by any reduction in RET, while a cancellation of the measure completely would have even more disastrous effects.

According to Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes, the total removal of RET would halve demand for solar power almost immediately.

“If the government goes ahead with its plans to axe the RET, demand for solar will fall 40 – 50 per cent straight away,” he said. “Thousands of Australians will lose their jobs. Hundreds, if not thousands, of small businesses will shut up shop.”

- See more at: http://sourceable.net/the-implications-of-axing-ret/#sthash.X4jJVwt7.dpuf

August 27, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New UN report finds that global warming could now be irreversible

climate-changeGlobal warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/26/global-warming-irreversible-un-panel-report A 127-page draft report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes what can be done about it

Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous – and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn’t in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what’s causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it.

“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report says. The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.

Depending on circumstances and values, “currently observed impacts might already be considered dangerous,” the report says. It mentions extreme weather and rising sea levels, such as heat waves, flooding and droughts. It even raises, as an earlier report did, the idea that climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food. And ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will harm marine life, it says.

Without changes in greenhouse gas emissions, “climate change risks are likely to be high or very high by the end of the 21st century,” the report says.

In 2009, countries across the globe set a goal of limiting global warming to about another 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-16.67C) above current levels. But the report says that it is looking more likely that the world will shoot past that point. Limiting warming to that much is possible but would require dramatic and immediate cuts in carbon dioxide pollution.

The report says if the world continues to spew greenhouse gases at its accelerating rate, it’s likely that by mid-century temperatures will increase by about another 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared to temperatures from 1986 to 2005. And by the end of the century, that scenario will bring temperatures that are about 6.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (3.7 degrees Celsius).

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO found by court to be liable for Fukushima related suicide

judge-1flag-japanIn a first, Japanese court rules that nuclear plant operator is liable for suicide WP, By Anna Fifield and Yuki Oda August 26 at 6:07 AM   TOKYO — A court in Fukushima has ruled that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the Japanese nuclear power plant operator, can be held responsible for the suicide of a woman who became depressed after the 2011 disaster.

The court ordered Tepco to pay $470,000 to Mikio Watanabe and his children after his 58-year-old wife, Hamako, killed herself a few months after the nuclear meltdown in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami forced them out of their home and destroyed their livelihoods.

The ruling was the first time that the struggling utility has been found liable for a suicide resulting from the accident, and it could galvanize others seeking redress from the company…….

The family’s attorney declared the verdict a “complete victory.”

Mikio Watanabe holds a portrait of his late wife Hamako at his home at Yamakiya district in Kawamata town, Fukushima prefecture in this June 23, 2014, file photo. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

“This ruling is significant as the precedent of a case caused by the nuclear power plant accident,” Tsuguo Hirota said. “Today’s verdict will greatly influence future lawsuits.”……..http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-a-first-japanese-court-rules-that-nuclear-plant-operator-is-liable-for-suicide/2014/08/26/bc43af62-6c30-4e70-8e22-ffe1895727c1_story.html

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How SunFarmer is powering health clinics in rural communities

antnuke-relevantMore Than A Light Bulb: How Clean Energy Is Powering Health Clinics Beyond The Gridhttp://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/26/light-bulb-clean-energy-powering-health-clinics-beyond-tthe-grid/August 26th, 2014 by   It is hard to overstate the effect that access to reliable electricity can have on people’s lives in rural communities worldwide.

That’s why we are so supportive of interventions like off-grid clean energy that not only put power directly in people’s hands, but do it in a time frame that matters: now, not decades from now. That’s something traditional grid extension and centralized power plants simply can’t do. Despite the important leg up off-grid clean energy provides these communities, we’ve heard some concerns that these interventions can only be used to provide lighting and supplies like light bulbs. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

To help us understand what kinds of resources these companies are powering with clean energy, we turned to SunFarmer, a US- and Canada-based non-profit organization, to learn more about off-grid companies powering health clinics.

Sun-Farmer-Nepal

SunFarmer is a pretty unique organization. As a non-profit, it has learned important lessons all off-grid companies should live by, including not to give things away for free. That’s why SunFarmer employs a rent-to-own business model that specifically seeks to empower local companies to deliver clean energy services to hospitals and health clinics. SunFarmer’s value to these companies is simple, but big: it unlocks crucial financing. Given how hard financing is to come by in this market, that’s incredibly important.

In addition, SunFarmer provides ever critical after-sales service in the form of technical assistance, quality assurance, and system maintenance — while local partners lead on project management. SunFarmer is also developing a monitoring and control platform to track the levels of energy production, observe the system’s battery performance, and communicate any issues (including energy theft) to health clinic staff. All of these critical data points prove that the next big frontier for these markets is data analytics.

But why should SunFarmer target large consumers, like health clinics, when most organizations working in this clean energy market start with small household needs — including lighting and mobile phone charging?

The answer is simple: the founders of SunFarmer were moved by the negative effect unreliable power has on 300,000 healthcare facilities worldwide. These critical public health care providers suffered from hours of power shortages and cuts that were keeping them from doing their job — saving lives.

When hospitals or health clinics lack reliable power, they can’t refrigerate vaccines. They can’t perform surgeries. Babies are delivered by flashlights or candlelight. Health clinic staff with SunFarmer projects have described the difference between delivering babies in darkness versus light, noting, “Previously, delivery was difficult using flashlights held in the mouth as they could neither see clearly nor could give instructions.” Continue reading

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott- a brief outline of Australia’s anti-nuclear movement

Caldicott-2013Australia – uranium and nuclear power, Online opinion By Helen Caldicott -, 26 August 2014  The Australian anti-nuclear movement started in Adelaide in 1971 when fallout from French atmospheric nuclear tests polluted Adelaide’s water supply. People were warned that strontium 90 concentrating in milk would further concentrate in childrens’ teeth and bones and years later could cause leukemia or bone cancer. Australians in general were not enamoured of the French, and were so incensed that they were polluting the southern hemisphere with their tests that a huge movement erupted. Spontaneous marches occurred in Adelaide streets, people stopped buying French wine and cheese, postal workers refused to deliver French mail and whole pages were devoted to indignant letters to the editor.

Within nine months 75% of Australians fervently opposed the tests. Jim Cairns, deputy Prime Minister, Ken Newcomb, Union of Australian Students, and I then travelled to Paris to inform the French Government of our opposition. Australia and New Zealand took France to the International Court of Justice and they were forced to test underground.

Despite this international victory, three years later Whitlam decided to mine and export uranium. I knew nothing about medical hazards of nuclear power until I read “Poisoned Power” by Gofman and Tamplin who had been commissioned by the US Atomic Energy Commission to research the dangers of nuclear power. I then travelled to Canberra to warn Whitlam of the medical dangers of the enterprise, but to no avail.

A group began in Adelaide called Campaign Against Nuclear Energy CANE and in Melbourne, Movement Against Uranium Mining MAUM. Unions learned of the dangers and became so deeply concerned that when a man refused to shunt a truck containing yellow cake in Brisbane, the Australian Railways Union called a 24 hour nationwide strike. The medical dangers of uranium and nuclear power hit the headlines. Finally in 1978 the ACTU passed a resolution to ban uranium mining, transport and export which lasted for five years until Bob Hawke introduced the Three Mine Policy ending the ban. The antinuclear movement in Australia was very powerful and prevailed for many years…….http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16621

 

August 27, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Online Green Electricity Guide gives thumbs down to Simply Energy, Energy Australia and Origin Energy

Green guide ranks big energy providers in the red, SMH, August 15, 2014  Some of Australia’s biggest energy providers have been ranked the worst performers on a green energy scale, among them Energy Australia and Origin Energy in NSW.

thumbs-downThe online Green Electricity Guide produced by Greenpeace Australia and the Total Environment Centre ranks electricity retailers, state by state, on seven criteria relating to carbon emission rates, solar power offers, GreenPower products and investments in fossil fuels.

The highest-ranked companies in NSW were Diamond Energy, which relies predominantly on solar generation, and Momentum Energy, the owner of Australia’s biggest hydropower generator.

Among the biggest energy providers with a poor ranking were Simply Energy, which predominates in the Victorian and South Australian electricity markets, and Energy Australia and Origin Energy, ranked consecutively the least efficient in green energy in NSW.

Senior Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner said the days are gone of customers staying with one power company for life. “There’s now a new breed of retailers investing in renewables, eager to snare customers with an appetite for a renewable energy future,” he said.

The guide has encouraged Kylie Hitchman and her family to switch from Origin Energy to Diamond Energy this month. “I’m very disappointed with Origin Energy. Initially we started with them because we thought they were the cleanest and greenest,” she said.

Ms Hitchman said the smaller and 100 per cent renewable Diamond Energy was a better fit. “It follows my ethics to go with someone like them,” she said………

In Victoria, the advocacy group GetUp! and a Victorian energy provider are trying to encourage consumers to  switch to companies that have a greater commitment to renewable energy. Their campaign urges people to switch from the big energy providers and use Powershop, an online company that monitors energy companies’ prices and offers customers a monthly review of their energy usage and recommends better deals.

Powershop has added 10 per cent of its total customer base in the past two months as a result of the campaign, which GetUp! believes has providers like AGL on the offensive.

“The big power companies are trying to win back customers who have switched to Powershop,” GetUp! spokesman Matt Levinson said. “AGL is offering customers who have switched to Powershop huge discounts of up to 39 per cent to try and win them back.” ….

GetUp! said it plans to make the Powershop campaign a national one, following the success of the Victorian trial. : http://www.smh.com.au/environment/green-guide-ranks-big-energy-providers-in-the-red-20140821-104mw0.html#ixzz3BcvGw1WS

August 27, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Growing public anxiety in Greenland, over Australian uranium miner Greenland Minerals and Energy Limited (GMEL)

questionthe people of Greenland are “split down the middle regarding the repeal of the ban.”

Hooge explains that the “mineral authorities” have fed the public disinformation over the last years but the tide may be turning, with growing concerns over environmental effects and the leftist party Inuit Ataqatigiit pledging to roll back the repeal if it wins back power.

The prospect of a relatively unknown Australian company exploiting massive untapped resources in Greenland deserves a robust public and political debate. It has thus far received nothing in Australia, and little in Denmark and Greenland.

In an age of worsening climate change, mining uranium is an arguably unsafe and potentially explosive answer to the problem

Australian uranium mining in Greenland is tearing the country in half jagadees.wordpress.com August 23, 2014 Antony Loewenstein. source theecologist.org

This is a story about an Australian company you’ve never heard of, operating in a nation that rarely enters the global media: Greenland. It’s a story about the intense search for energy sources in a world that’s moving away from the dirtiest fossil fuels.

Aleqa Hammond, the prime minister of Greenland, is the first woman to lead this autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. She also welcomes the financial opportunities from climate change and a melting Arctic Circle……..

In October last year, Hammond pushed legislation through Greenland’s parliament to overturn a 25 year old ban on the extraction of radioactive materials, including uranium, despite countless leading environmental NGOs urging otherwise.

It attracted global interest from the rare earth and uranium industries, including from China. Concerns were also raised about Greenland’s ability to manage a toxic substance in the wake of Fukushima and Chernobyl.

The company Greenland Minerals and Energy Limited (GMEL) is based in Perth, Western Australia. This year GMEL announced a major step forward in their plan to open one of the world’s largest uranium mines in southern Greenland, at Kvanefjeld, near Narsaq. The mine will also produce fluoride, thorium and other rare earths.

There is still significant opposition to the Kvanefjeld project. The Ecological Council, a Danish NGO, organised a conference to discuss the potential contamination risks in March, noting that the mine poses serious risks for the inhabitants of the nearby village, Narsaq.

Many locals told the BBC that they worried about pollution and challenges to traditional ways of life if GMEL moved ahead with its plans.

Unsurprisingly, Danish green groups have pushed for a continued ban on uranium mining. They claim that rare earth elements can be extracted without uranium mining in Greenland.

Who owns GMEL?

This would have been an important but fairly typical contest over resources, but after issues surrounding the ownership and status of Perth-based GMEL were raised in the Greenlandic parliament, the prospects of the Australian firm may be in jeopardy. Continue reading

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Western Australia, politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

Over 60 epidemiological studies show childhood cancer increase near nuclear power plants

highly-recommendedNuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia – and here’s the proof  http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/childhood-leukemias-near-nuclear-power-stations-new-article/ Ian Fairlie 24 Aug 14

In March 2014, my article on increased rates of childhood leukemias near nuclear power plants (NPPs) was published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (JENR). A previous post discussed the making of the article and its high readership: this post describes its content in layman’s terms.

Before we start, some background is necessary to grasp the new report’s significance. Many readers may be unaware that increased childhood leukemias near NPPs have been a contentious issue for several decades. For example, it was a huge issue in the UK in the 1980s and early 1990s leading to several TV programmes, Government Commissions, Government committees, a major international Conference, Government reports, at least two mammoth court cases and probably over a hundred scientific articles. It was refuelled in 1990 by the publication of the famous Gardner report (Gardner et al, 1990) which found a very large increase (7 fold) in child leukemias near the infamous Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria.

The issue seems to have subsided in the UK, but it is still hotly debated in most other European countries, especially Germany.

The core issue is that, world-wide, over 60 epidemiological studies have examined cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most (>70%) indicate leukemia increases. I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between NPPs and child leukemias. Continue reading

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Over 20,00 jobs at risk if Renewable Energy Target is changed

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Jobs at risk from renewable energy target changes http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2014/s4073035.htm Matthew Doran reported this story on Saturday, August 23, 2014  ELIZABETH JACKSON: A green energy analyst says any changes to the Renewable Energy Target, which is currently under Federal Government review, will affect far more than the environmental sector in Australia.
green-collar
It’s estimated that more than 20,000 people are employed in a variety of roles across the renewable industry sector, from construction to research and development. But the ongoing uncertainty is spooking a growing number of developers.From Adelaide, Matthew Doran reports. Continue reading

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

In 2014 huge increase in renewable energy in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia

antnuke-relevantAfrica to add 1.8GW of renewable energy in 2014 http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/08/25/africa-to-add-1-8gw-of-renewable-energy-in-2014/  25 Aug 14 A reduction in costs for wind and solar power as well as an increasing demand for electricity could see more renewable energy projects commissioned in sub-Saharan Africa this year.

That’s according to a new report which predicts 1.8GW of renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro power plants, will be installed in 2014.

That’s more than the amount that came online in the entire 2000-13 period, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said.

Investment in countries including South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia is estimated at $5.9 billion (£3.6bn) this year and may reach $7.7 billion (£4.6bn) in 2016. Average annual investment from 2006 through 2011 was just $1 billion (£0.6bn)

Victoria Cuming, Senior Analyst at BNEF said: “Sub-Saharan Africa is not new to renewable energy… What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries and the potential for further growth.”

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians’ defence of the Renewable Energy Target underway, with Brisbane pro solar rally

protestAustralia: Pro-solar rally slams attack on renewable target, PV Magazine  21. AUGUST 2014 | BY:  JONATHAN GIFFORD

The organized opposition to the federal government’s moves to abolish or reduce Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has begun. More than 500 people attended a rally in Brisbane to protest against changes to the RET. The Australian Solar Council launched a campaign against the federal government logo-australian-solar-councmaking changes to the RET. Its first event in the northeastern state of Queensland on Thursday attracted 500 attendees.

The council’s CEO John Grimes said that a clear message has been sent to the government that Australians in key electorates are willing to vote to defend renewable energy in the country.

“Tonight over 500 solar heroes have come forward to send a clear warning to the Abbott government,” said Grimes. He said the message to Abbott’s conservative government has been clear: “We love solar, solar saves us money on power bills [and] we will vote to defend the Renewable Energy Target!”

The Save Solar campaign has also raised the ire of the government.  Environment Minister Greg Hunt slammed John Grimes on ABC Radio……..

“The Environment Minister should be attacking the Prime Minister’s radical plan to shut down the solar industry, not shooting the messenger,” said Grimes. “Today’s outburst shows how scared the Government is of this national campaign to Save Solar taking hold.”

There have been a host of surveys showing that Australians are supportive of renewable energy and the RET. With over 1.3 million solar households around the country, certainly a large number of people have first hand experience of solar.

The Australian Newspaper, a Rupert Murdoch owned publication that is generally skeptical of climate change and is often critical of renewable energy has been running a series of surveys about Australian’s attitudes towards renewables. In its most recent survey, it found that 88% of Australians support renewable energy, while only 8% report being “totally against.”

The Australian currently has a second survey live here.

Australia’s Clean Energy Council is also currently campaigning against changes to the RET. It’s CEO Kane Thornton argues that even a reduction of the RET to a “true 20%,” proposed as a compromise measure, would devastate the renewable energy industry in Australia.   http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/australia–pro-solar-rally-slams-attack-on-renewable-target_100016170/#axzz3BRV0obrI

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Fading hopes for nuclear power to restart in Japan

piggy-bank--nuke-sadflag-japanDon’t bank on nuclear restarts, Japan Times 24 Aug 14 Power companies are moving again to raise their electricity rates to get out of dire financial straits ………..Electricity charges are estimated to have already increased by roughly 20 percent for households and nearly 30 percent for businesses compared with 2010 levels.

Additional hikes could weigh heavily on households and businesses alike, and for that reason many are calling for a quick restart of the idled nuclear reactors — to remove an obstacle to Japan’s economic growth. That, however, does not warrant a return to business as usual for nuclear power in Japan.

While minimizing the inevitable rate hikes by introducing more streamlining and efficiency in their operations, the utility firms should begin an effort to change their cost structure and reduce their reliance on nuclear power by taking a more realistic view of the situation since the Fukushima disaster.

The Abe administration also needs to set down more specific goals in Japan’s energy policy that will incorporate efforts to reduce “as much as possible” the nation’s dependence on nuclear power — as it says in the government’s latest basic energy plan — to set a clear direction for the utility industry……..

When it raised its rates 11 months ago, Hokkaido Electric assumed that its Tomari Nuclear Power Plant would resume operations by June this year.

When Kansai Electric raised its electricity charges in the spring of 2013, it similarly calculated that its Oi and Takahama nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture would be up and running.

In its reconstruction plans approved by the government last December, Tepco also assumed that it would start reactivating reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture by July this year — adding that it might need to raise its rates again by up to 10 percent if the restart of the plant was delayed.

All of these forecasts by utilities have proven too optimistic. Of the 20 reactors at 13 nuclear power plants under safety review by the Nuclear Regulation Authority since July last year, the two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture have effectively cleared the NRA screening, but their actual restart is not likely before the end of this year due to pending procedures…….

The entire process for restarting the nuclear plants, including the necessary approvals from host municipalities and prefectures, is going to be tough and will take a long time. At present, only 20 of the nation’s 48 reactors are under NRA review……

as long as the power companies keep drawing up business plans based on the hope of once again being be able to operate nuclear power plants as they did before 2011, consumers and businesses can bet on the certainty of more hikes in the future. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/08/24/editorials/dont-bank-nuclear-restarts/#.U_u6scVdUnk

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How the corporate media deceives us on the Ukraine crisis

highly-recommendedMedia Propaganda and the Ukraine Crises Paul Rogov, 25 Aug 14 “…… Western journalists write for corporate interests. It does not really matter who it is—The New York Times, The New Republic, The Economist, USA Today, CNN, or Fox— but the Western media it self is the entity that is aggravating the situation in the Ukraine.

By appealing to Western-led Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian scholars and American think-tanks and universities in hopes of the establishing lesser known “facts” about the Ukraine, corporate journalism often pounces on every opportunity or rumor or idea, so it can get its story out for the U.S.’s own benefit, having had met its deadlines.

 The media was originally intended to critique the government and serve the people by giving them accurate, unbiased information. All an American needed was the facts. Commentary journalism, however, is different. It is a meta-journalism: a critique of itself.

Meta-journalism is in grave crisis. More than ever independent and free presses are needed to keep mainstream media, which seems to have merged with the U.S. State Department, in check.

 A corporate journalist writes their article for their corporate sponsor—wanting to get their story off to his or her editor as quickly as possible— effectively perpetuating the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and explicitly propelling the idea of WWIII.

Now, with American academic-ideologues like Timothy Snyder, who writes articles like “The Battle of the Ukraine Means Everything” for The New Republic, it should be clear that this media dragon has many heads. Americans, in turn, have to lop off each one in order to deconstruct the propaganda that feeds the hysteria within the psyche of the average citizen……..

Western corporate Journalists are the creators of WWIII because they choose to bifurcate everything for the American people. Hawk versus Dove. Democrat versus Republican. NATO versus Russia. West verses East. Is there no way to be multipolar and live in a multipolar world? Western corporate media uses split screen techniques on television and broadcasts about complex political topics that cannot be resolved by two talking heads. They present only two points of view for just two ways of understanding American culture in under two minutes.

 Whereas I do not remotely trust news coverage that comes from the Russian Federation, the Western coverage of the Ukrainian predicament is deplorable and dishonest, hysteria-arousing, sometimes pedestrian, uninformative, inaccurate and most of all, propaganda. Why? Because Western corporate journalists serve the U.S.’s Military Industrial Complex.

While the corporate media cynically giggles behind its readers’ backs and Senator John McCain smiles and tweets— “I’m proud to be sanctioned by Putin”—- it revels in every hot new angle to the story about “the Ukraine situation” and gets further and further sucked into the dichotomous “clash of the titans” logic in what it first dubbed a “New Cold War,” then slowly begins using the  term “World War III.”……http://paulrogov.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/media-propaganda-and-the-ukraine-crises/

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers