Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Fukushima – radioactive water into the sea – a nightmare for fishermen

A decade after the Fukushima meltdown, this Japanese region faces a new nightmare — radioactive water in the sea, ABC, By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer and Yumi Asada in Fukushima, Japan, 21 Feb 21, 

I won’t lie — I was a little nervous heading inside the destroyed nuclear plant at the centre of Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident.

It was a rare opportunity to look at how the clean-up effort was going 10 years on.

But weighing on my mind as I headed inside and took a look around was that this was of the most radioactive places on earth right now.

I’ve been inside Fukushima’s no-go zones, where the radiation levels are so high it’s unliveable and overgrown weeds entangle anything in their way — from abandoned homes, cars and even vending machines.

It is always an eerie experience seeing entire towns frozen in time and the stories from those who once called it home are equally chilling.

This is the first time I’ve been in the place responsible for it……..

It’s been 10 years since Japan’s worst nuclear accident, which was triggered by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the country and a massive tsunami that wiped out everything in its path.

Yet the aftershocks from the devastating March 11 disaster continue to rattle these parts — the most recent occurring only a week ago.

Japan’s nuclear disaster site is still a hive of activity

When the tsunami hit the nuclear plant in 2011, it cut power and consequently cooling to three operational reactors.

At that point, only flooding the reactors with seawater could have cooled them quickly enough to avoid a meltdown.

But that decision was delayed because of fears it would permanently destroy the reactors.

By the time the government ordered the seawater to be used, it was too late. The nuclear fuel overheated and melted down.

Some of the reactors exploded and the twisted wreckage of the blast is still exposed today.

When I arrived at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, I was given a radiation dosimeter and handed a plastic bag containing gloves, a mask and three pairs of socks.

I had been given specific instructions to put on one after the other.

The idea was to prevent any radioactive material from getting onto my pants — if it does, the officials jokingly told me, I’ll have to leave them there.

Once I’m ready, I follow an official through a maze-like path to the Whole Body Counter room.

That’s where I have a scan that measures the existing radiation levels inside my body so they can check how much I have been exposed to throughout the day.

It’s a bustling hive of activity — there are thousands of workers here and as we pass by many say ‘otsukaresama deshita’, a Japanese phrase that loosely translates to ‘thank you for your service’.

We’re accompanied and guided by several officials from the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)……….

The long process of removing 800 tones of radioactive fuel

TEPCO has spent the last 10 years trying to cool and stabilise the three reactors so that they can eventually start to remove the molten fuel debris that sits inside them.

As we pull up to the destroyed reactors, which contain more than 800 tonnes of highly radioactive molten nuclear fuel, we can see many workers in full protective equipment heavily involved in the decontamination effort.

In the space of just a few steps, radiation levels spike from 80 microsieverts an hour to 100. At the same time, my radiation alarm goes off to tell me I’ve accumulated 0.02 millisieverts of radiation while at the plant.

It’s about the same as a chest x-ray and nothing to be worried about at this stage — but our minders tell us we shouldn’t spend too much more time here.

It’s estimated the full clean-up effort will take another 30-40 years, though some experts feel this is optimistic.

The company was hoping to start removal of the highly radioactive debris this year, but the coronavirus pandemic will prevent that from happening.

“We are planning to remove the fuel debris from Unit 2 using a robot arm and the plan was to make the arm and carry out a performance test in the UK,” TEPCO’s Yoshinori Takahashi told me.

“But because of the coronavirus, the manufacturing process and testing has been delayed.”

The delay could be up to 12 months. But that is not the most pressing issue facing TEPCO.

How do you remove a million tonnes of contaminated water?

All of the water that touches the highly radioactive molten fuel also becomes contaminated.

The water is processed to remove more than 60 different types of radioactive materials from it, but the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) doesn’t completely purify the water.

The radioactive element, tritium, remains inside all of the stored water, albeit at “low” levels, according to TEPCO.

Currently, 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water is stored in more than 1,000 tanks spanning the entire power plant facility. But by the end of next year, the tanks and the site will be full.

The Japanese government is now weighing up what to do next.

A panel of experts has recommended disposing of it in the ocean as the most practical option as opposed to releasing it into the air, which TEPCO said would be more difficult to monitor.

Mr Takahashi said tritium was a weak form of radiation and that the water would be released in such limited quantities over such a long period that it would be safe.

But for those who make their living from the part of the ocean where TEPCO is proposing to dump its contaminated water, they fear the damage this poses to their reputation.

That includes Haruo Ono, who has been fishing in Fukushima’s waters for 50 years.

Fisherman worried about what water release will mean for their livelihoods

Although most fishermen are receiving compensation payments from TEPCO to cover their revenue shortfalls, he fears that if contaminated water is released into the ocean, it will finish off the industry for good.

“They say it’s OK to release tritium, but what do consumers think? We can’t sell fish because the consumers say no,” he said.

The 70-year-old is opposed to the scheme and says he’s hoping to watch the decommissioning first-hand over the next 30-40 years…………… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/a-tour-inside-fukushimas-nuclear-plant-10-years-after-accident/13158976

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

News Corpse fervently promoting nuclear power to Australia

From THE AUSTRALIAN, 17 Feb 21,  ‘‘Think of the deaths that could have been avoided, since installing solar panels and wind turbines is a surprisingly dangerous exercise. The death toll from solar power per unit of energy supplied is more than five times as high as the death toll from nuclear, according to estimates from Cambridge House in Canada. By the same measure, nuclear power is 1000 times safer than coal and 400 times safer than natural gas. Yet still Albanese persists with the lame excuse that nuclear power is too dangerous to consider.”

Cambridge House doesn’t seem like a credible source for deaths in different power sources.

Cambridge House is a networking and “investment discovery” company that runs a mining and investment conference in North Americahttps://cambridgehouse.com/about

Maybe not the most reliable source of info, journalist at The Australian.

Some excellent scientists did, in fact, do meticulous studies, and documented illnesses,deaths, birth defects resulting from the Chernobyl disaster.  The Russian government happily collaborated with the West in a successful campaign to discredit those scientists.  Most notably Alexey V. Yablokov – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl:_Consequences_of_the_Catastrophe_for_People_and_the_Environment

I wrote on the work of Wladimir Wertelecki, who documented birth defects in Belarus –  unfortunate title – but bear with it –  “A baby that has no head is a baby that has no head.”  https://noelwauchope.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/a-baby-that-has-no-head-is-a-baby-that-has-no-head/
From Sky News, 21 Feb 21,  “Broadcaster Michael McLaren says Australia has wasted “decades with silly moratoriums” on nuclear energy and that “we may well pay the price” for doing so.  “There is a growing sense of urgency now about which technology can provide the reliable baseload power Australia needs if coal is to go,” Mr McLaren said. “It is an issue of sovereignty and national security”.

 

February 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

New books on climate change; Michael Mann versus (nuclear promoter) Bill Gates

Let’s not forget that Bill Gates recommends tax-payer support for new small nuclear reactors, and just happens to be promoting his own cnuclear  company TerraPower
The rise of the climate dude  New Statesman , 17 Feb 21, 
Bill Gates’s faith in a technological fix for climate change is typical of privileged men who think they can swoop in and solve the problems others have spent decades trying to fix.

………   How to Avoid a Climate Disaster provides a run-through of all the reasons we need to act on climate change and achieve net zero emissions. Gates insists this will be difficult and expensive to do, but that new and existing technologies can get us there. “I don’t have a solution to the politics of climate change,” he writes, but he acknowledges the importance of “developing new policies so we can demonstrate and deploy those inventions in the market as fast as possible”.
Alongside Gates’s book comes The New Climate War, by Michael Mann, a well-known American climate scientist. Mann is the genuine article. He started in the field in the early 1990s as a graduate student at Yale University and has never left it. He is less than convinced by Gates’s relatively late conversion to the climate cause.Gates is a classic example of a “first-time climate dude”, believes Mann. This phenomenon is “the tendency for members of a particular, privileged demographic group (primarily middle-aged, almost exclusively white men) to think they can just swoop in… and solve the great problems that others have spent decades unable to crack”. The result is a mess, “consisting of fatally bad takes and misguided framing couched in deeply condescending mansplaining”.

Such doom-mongering fires up Mann. In the “new climate war”, he heads an army that discounts the prospect of failure. “The climate crisis is very real,” he says. “But it is not unsolvable. And it’s not too late to act.” The opposition is no longer the climate deniers of yesteryear, but a more insidious group: “doomsayers” and “defeatists” who push “climate doom porn” and the idea that “climate change is just too big a problem for us to solve”, says Mann. They also peddle the other “Ds”: “disinformation, deceit, divisiveness, deflection, delay”.
That two high-profile books on climate change have been published within a week of each other proves the subject has reached the top of the mainstream agenda. Together, Mann and Gates offer a rounded view of the climate debate, but Mann’s book is the more readable. His prose rattles along, entertaining and horrifying us in equal measure as he exposes scientists, politicians, the conservative media and other supposed experts who have slowed climate action by caring more about the interests of big industry.
Gates, on the other hand, can be irksome. He’s never afraid to name drop, so the book is littered with phrases such as, “I met with François Hollande, who was the president of France,” or, “Warren Buffett and I were talking…” And he loves nothing more than reminding us how much he is investing in fighting climate change. “I’ve put more than $1bn into approaches that I hope will help the world get to zero,” he casually notes.
Mann is correct the world needs to speed up its adoption of existing solutions, end its love affair with fossil fuels and “call out false solutions for what they are”. However, framing climate action as a “war” is more questionable. Mann suggests some of his colleagues are in denial because they dismiss his notion that they are fighting with powerful interests. “The dismissiveness of soothing myths and appeasement didn’t serve us well in World War II, and it won’t serve us well here either,” he says. That may be true, but war can encourage people to retreat further into their own views, meaning greater destruction and a slower pace of change.
….. Gates should pay more attention to Mann’s conclusion that technological innovation is only a part of the solution, and not even necessarily the biggest one. Systemic change “incentivised by appropriate government policy”, and intergovernmental agreements matched with the belief that “there is still time to create a better future” should form the basis of all climate plans.  https://www.newstatesman.com/bill-gates-avoid-climate-disaster-michael-mann-new-climate-war-review

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Africa: an example of how nuclear waste costs are passed on to grandchildren taxpayers

Questions we should therefore all be asking of government, the Department of Energy, the nuclear regulator, Nersa, Nuclear Waste Disposal Institute, Necsa, Eskom and the South African nuclear sector are: 

  • Who should bear the cost of nuclear plant decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste – the polluter, the customer or the taxpayer? 
  • Where are the real asset-based funds set aside within Eskom and Necsa for future decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste? 
  • Does the “polluter pays” principle apply in practice, or will the customer and taxpayer end up paying twice through government bailouts? 

One can only guess who may end up bearing the real decommissioning, high-level waste storage, disposal and final repository costs in due course – perhaps not the polluter at all, but our children’s children as taxpayers in the next generation. 

South African taxpayers exposed to high-level nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning liabilities, Daily Maverick, By Chris Yelland• 21 February 2021  

Citizens and taxpayers in South Africa continue to labour under the misguided belief that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) make real funding provisions monthly, over the operating life of their nuclear reactors, to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste from their nuclear plants, in terms of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Page 69 of the 8th National Report prepared by the Department of Energy and the SA National Nuclear Regulator,  and presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in August 2019 in terms of South Africa’s obligations  to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, states in respect of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station:

“Financial provision for decommissioning (as well as spent fuel management) continues to be accumulated on a monthly basis since commercial operation of the installation began in 1984. The financial provision is reflected in the annual financial statements of Eskom. These financial statements are audited in accordance with South African national legislation.

“In terms of decommissioning financial plans, the amount of decommissioning and spent fuel provision made each month is determined by the present value of future estimated cash flows. These financial plans are reviewed regularly and adjusted annually, and informed by the South African inflation rate.”

However, the problem with these fine words to the IAEA is that they are misleading, perhaps deliberately so, and that the so-called provision is actually something of a “Potemkin village” to placate and impress the IAEA and the public that all is well and under control.

In fact, no real money, securities or investments of any kind have actually been set aside monthly, annually or at stage and in any fund during operation of South Africa’s nuclear facilities as provision for decommissioning, long-term storage and final disposal of high-level nuclear waste, and/or the construction and operation of a high-level nuclear waste repository. Continue reading

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fukushima spillage raises questions about threat of future earthquakes — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A road in Nihonmatsu has been blocked by a landslide on Feb. 14 following a 7.3-magnitude earthquake the day before in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture. Feb.16,2021 The occurrence of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the waters off of Fukushima on Feb. 13 is prompting growing concerns about the safety of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, as […]

Fukushima spillage raises questions about threat of future earthquakes — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water leaks indicate new damage at Fukushima nuclear plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Radioactive cooling water levels inside the wreckage of Fukushima Daiichi units is falling in a least two units. This indicates that new damage from the recent 7.3 M earthquake has created drainage routes for more radioactive contamination to escape to the offsite environment. This Sept. 4, 2017, aerial file photo shows Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power […]

Water leaks indicate new damage at Fukushima nuclear plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water levels at Fukushima reactor containers falling after quake — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A Tepco employee wearing a protective suit and mask gives lectures in front of No. 3 reactor building at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February 2019. February 20, 2021 Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. has said that the water levels in the containment vessels for the […]

Water levels at Fukushima reactor containers falling after quake — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Texas tantrums and anti-wind strawmen — daryanenergyblog

Recently there’s been some blackouts in Texas caused by unseasonably cold weather. In fact its the sort of extreme weather we’d be expecting due to climate change (which doesn’t just lead to hotter weather, it can also cause shifts in weather patterns leading to more extremes of weather, such as more intense rainfall, hurricanes and […]

Texas tantrums and anti-wind strawmen — daryanenergyblog

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 21 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Some Are Claiming Blue Gas Is A Tesla Killer. It’s Not” • Blue gas is gasoline or diesel that is a hydrocarbon fuel manufactured from hydrogen and carbon feedstocks instead of being refined from petroleum. This sounds interesting, but there are several questions that need answers. After some study and analysis, here are the […]

February 21 Energy News — geoharvey

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby plans to take over the U.N. Climate Change Conference

Meet the Young Generation Network and its group of nuclear schills who will lead the attempted nuclear takeover of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.

  The team is mainly targeting the UN-controlled ‘blue zone’ at the conference, which is where the many international policymakers, government officials and legislators will be concentrated.

Just by chance?   They all happen to be ambitious young people who hope to have a big career in the nuclear industry.   Well, you can’t blame them for that.  But  let’s be wary of their advice on nuclear power as the solution for global heating.


Arun Khuttan.
 End States Engineer at Magnox Ltd.UKAlice Cunha da Silva. Latin America Nuclear Leader | Westinghouse Electric Company.

Hannah Paterson
, Technology Manager at Sellafield Ltd UK

Matthew Mairinger 
Technical Engineer with Ontario Power Generation, Canada

Miguel Trenkel-Lopez 
Assistant Engineer at Magnox Ltd,Bristol, UK

Saralyn Thomas 
  Formerly at AREVAnuclear company, now at Abbott Risk Consulting (ARC) Risk Management consultancy services to the Nuclear Industry

Vicki Dingwall
 of EDF nuclear company

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment