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Marshall Islands Nuclear Lawsuit Reopens Old Wounds via Newsweek

The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the tiny collection of Pacific Ocean atolls and a former nuclear testing ground for the United States, is taking on the U.S. and eight other nuclear-armed nations with a set of lawsuits, claiming that the countries have failed to move towards disarmament and a world without nuclear weapons.

But they aren’t seeking monetary compensation — millions of dollars, along with a series of medical programs and cleanup operations, have been provided by the U.S. since they detonated dozens of nuclear and atomic bombs over the islands. How helpful the money has been remains a controversial topic.

Instead, the David and Goliath lawsuit claims the U.S. and its nuclear counterparts has failed to comply with the 44-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, which seeks to eliminate the international cadre of nuclear weapons, and promote the peaceful use of nuclear power. Filed on April 24, 2014, it seeks peace and adopts the line: If not us, who? If not now, when?

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UPDATE 3-Areva’s stock plunges on sales warning, solar exit via Reuters

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Shares in French nuclear power group Areva closed 20 percent lower on Friday, the worst fall since the company was formed in 2001, as it posted a first-half loss, exited a thermal solar power business and cut sales targets.

The shares were down by as much as 23 percent earlier in the session with trading the busiest by volume since late February, when Areva posted a net loss of nearly half a billion euros.

Chief Executive Luc Oursel dropped a long-held target to sell 10 nuclear reactors by 2016, saying it would “take a few more years” and the firm warned that 2014 revenue would fall 10 percent, more than the 2-5 percent decline forecast in February.

Areva, which has not sold a new nuclear reactor since 2007, hopes French utility EDF will get the green light from European Union competition authorities this year to build two Areva reactors in Britain, but its reactor sales are suffering badly from the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

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除染、個人被ばく線量重視へ 環境省が新方針発表 via 47 News

東京電力福島第1原発事故に伴う除染をめぐり、環境省は1日、多くの 市町村が目指している空間放射線量「毎時0・23マイクロシーベルト」は除染目標ではないと強調し、空間線量から個人被ばく線量に基づいた除染に転換すべ きだとする報告書を発表した。地元自治体から除染の効率化が図れると歓迎の意見が出る一方、新方針への反発や除染現場の混乱を懸念する声もある。

続きは除染、個人被ばく線量重視へ 環境省が新方針発表

関連記事:「東京電力(株)福島第一原子力発電所事故に係る個人線量の特性に関する調査」の追加調査の実施について via 放射線医学総合研究所

当サイト既出関連記事:環境省:除染目安の空間線量を緩和 via 毎日新聞

 

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Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race via The Center for Public Integrity

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article

James E. Doyle’s ordeal with Washington began one morning in early February last year, when his supervisor stopped by his desk at Los Alamos National Laboratory and told him that senior managers wanted copies of all his publications.

The 55-year-old political scientist asked the reason for the request, and he eventually was told that someone at the House Armed Services Committee wanted to see the publications. But Doyle said officials refused to tell him who it was or why.

Later that day at the lab’s New Mexico campus, he said, two members of a Security Inquiries Team abruptly arrived with a special, silver-colored briefcase for secure documents, and pulled out an article he published a few days earlier on the website of a London nonprofit group.

They claimed that the article, an impassioned critique of the political theories undergirding the nuclear arms race and a defense of President Obama’s embrace of a nuclear weapons-free future, contained classified information.

[...]

Doyle, officially a contractor, said he was told that he was being let go as part of a program of layoffs at the New Mexico lab. But he says he believes the sudden firing was instead part of a Washington-inspired campaign of retribution for his refusal to stay on message and support the lab’s central mission, namely its continued development and production of nuclear arms, at a cost of almost $2 billion per year there.

[...]

Doyle’s treatment has nonetheless already attracted criticism from former Obama appointees and from his editor at Survival, a journal published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies where the article appeared in February 2013.

“It sure looks like he’s being fired for supporting the President’s policy,” said Jon Wolfsthal, a special adviser on nuclear matters to Vice President Joseph Biden from 2009 to 2012 who knows Doyle.

Read more at  Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

Related article: Fired from Los Alamos for Pushing Obama’s Agenda via Daily Beast

Fired From Los Alamos for Pushing Obama’s Nuclear Agenda – See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/fired-from-los-alamos-for-pushing-obama-s-nuclear-agenda.html#sthash.I3sjovQu.dpuf
Fired From Los Alamos for Pushing Obama’s Nuclear Agenda – See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/fired-from-los-alamos-for-pushing-obama-s-nuclear-agenda.html#sthash.I3sjovQu.dpuf

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Bulgaria signs nuclear deal with Westinghouse via LBC International

Bulgaria – one of five European Union states that depend totally on Russia for nuclear fuel – and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a shareholder agreement on Friday that would pave the way for construction of a new nuclear reactor, officials said.

Westinghouse, the world’s largest nuclear fuel producer and part of Japan’s Toshiba group, will take a 30 percent stake in Kozloduy NPP – New Build, which is building new units at the Kozloduy nuclear site in Bulgaria.

“The agreement is signed. It will however only enter into force if approved by the next government,” said Ivan Genov, chief executive of Kozloduy nuclear plant.

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Indict Tepco execs over disaster: judicial panel via The Japan Times

An judicial panel of citizens said Thursday it has decided that three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. merit indictment over the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The 11-member Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution voted that Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tepco at the time of the disaster, and two former vice presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro, should be indicted.

The panel said the former executives had failed to take sufficient crisis management steps to ensure safety despite the possibility that a massive tsunami could trigger an unprecedented accident.

A group of Fukushima residents and others had filed criminal complaints against the Tepco executives for alleged professional negligence resulting in death and injury in connection with the nuclear plant disaster.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office decided last September not to indict former leaders of the Fukushima plant operator, saying it was difficult to foresee the scale of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that triggered the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

But around 5,700 people, including Fukushima residents affected by the nuclear crisis, were dissatisfied with the prosecutors’ decision and asked the inquest panel to review the case last October.

With the latest decision, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is expected to resume investigations into the three former officials. If it decides not to indict them or does not announce a decision within three months, the prosecution inquest panel will discuss the case once again.

Katsumata and the two others will face mandatory indictment should the panel decide again that they merit indictment.

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Experts question Fukushima thyroid screening via The Japan Times

More than three years after the triple core meltdown in Fukushima Prefecture devastated the lives of thousands of residents, the effect that the radiation release is having on children’s thyroid glands still weighs heavily on residents’ minds.

The iodine-131 released into the air by the meltdowns accumulates in the thyroid gland, increasing the risk of thyroid cancer. The gland is responsible for regulating hormone levels in the body.

Children are considered especially vulnerable. After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, more than 6,000 children were diagnosed with thyroid cancer by 2005, according to the U.N. Scientific Committee of the Effects of Atomic Radiation.

Given the local anxiety, the Fukushima Prefectural Government in October 2011 started offering free thyroid screenings for everyone who was 18 or younger at the time of the disaster. The prefecture has 370,000 residents in that age group, and 300,000 had received voluntary checkups by the end of March.

The program may look good on paper, but it has drawn flak from medical experts who say it is far from adequate in determining a link between the cancers found and radiation exposure.

At the core of the criticism is the prefectural government’s policy of not releasing data on the results of the checkups, such as what stage of cancer the examinees are in.

This lack of disclosure — based on prefectural privacy policies — has made it hard for experts to accurately judge whether the abnormally high incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima is being caused the nuclear debacle or the higher screening rate.

In addition, the prefecture has no authority to follow up on children who test positive for cancer, meaning its data on the medical effects of the aftermath of the disaster will be limited.

[...]

Papillary thyroid cancer, the type that appears most prevalent among children in Fukushima, is known for having a slow growth rate and very low risk of death, the experts say. Therefore, many hospitals in Japan nowadays tell patients that long-term observation of their condition is an option to surgery.

Iwao Sugitani, a professor and chairman of the department of endocrine surgery at Nippon Medical School Graduate School of Medicine, said about 90 percent of thyroid cancer cases in Japan involve papillary thyroid cancer. While around nine out of every 10 patients with this type of cancer face no immediate threat to their lives, experts are divided on whether to perform surgery in such cases.

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小泉元首相「国の責任が曖昧」 原発再稼働で政権批判 via 朝日新聞

小泉純一郎元首相が31日、安倍政権が進める原発の再稼働について「原子力規制委員長が審査には合格したが、安全とは申し上げられないと言っている。どこに本当の責任があるかがあやふやで、国の責任が曖昧(あいまい)だ」と批判した。都内で記者団に語った。

(略)

小泉氏は規制委任せの政権の姿勢について「政治が責任を取らなくてはいけない」と強調。原発の今後については「諦めるしかない。必ず(原発ゼロに)なる。時間の問題だ。政治が原発を導入したんだから、政治がゼロにする」と語った。

全文は小泉元首相「国の責任が曖昧」 原発再稼働で政権批判

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福島の苦悩 インドも 第一と同型 タラプール 元原発技官が映画化 via 東京新聞

 福島第一原発と同じ型では世界で最も古いインドのタラプール原発。その地元の村で暮らす人々の健康被害や貧困を描いた短編映画「ハイ・パワー 大 いなる力」が八月一、二日、東京都内で上映される。来日した元原子力エンジニアのプラディープ・インドゥルカー監督(50)は「フクシマを経験した日本の 皆さんに、現実を知ってもらいたい」と訴える。 (原尚子)

 「国はわれわれをだました。仕事をやる、施設を造ると言ったのに、何も実現していない」。村の女性が険しい顔で訴える。一九六四年の建設当時、原発は「大いなる力」と熱狂的に迎えられた。しかし今、村人たちはカメラに向かって不満をぶちまける。

 「約束のインフラが整備されなかった」「村では不漁や不作が続く」「がんや流産も増加している」。インドゥルカー監督は「メディアは沈黙し、インターネット環境も整わない村では(放射線測定器の)ガイガーカウンターも知らない」と嘆く。

(略)

 タラプール原発は、インド西部の大都市ムンバイから北へ約百キロの村に建設された。1、2号機は福島第一原発と同じ米ゼネラル・エレクトリック社製で、同じ型では世界最古。インドにある原発の中でも最も古く、現在も使われている。

 監督は八三年から十二年間、インド最大の原子力研究機関「バーバ原子力研究センター」に勤務した。アレルギー症状や神経痛などを感じて退職。体調 不良や仲間の自殺などが重なり、二〇〇九年から反原発運動に関わる。タラプール村には〇九年末から通い始め、一〇年十二月から三カ月ほどかけて撮影したと いう。

 安倍政権はインドへの原発輸出に向け、日印原子力協定の締結を目指している。インドゥルカー監督は「それが意味することを考え、世界的な反核の動きにつなげたい」と話している。

 映画は二十七分。八月一日午後二時から渋谷区の津田塾大千駄ケ谷キャンパスと、二日午後五時から台東区谷中三の一七の一一の「谷中の家」で。津田 塾大は五百円。谷中の家は申し込みが必要で上映とトークが千円、交流会が五百円。問い合わせは萩谷海さん=電090(4026)5974=へ。

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France to boost renewable energy, reduce nuclear via RFI

France is to invest up to 10 billion euros to boost investment in renewable energy and cut the country’s oil and gas costs. On Wednesday French Environment and Energy Minister Ségolène Royal presented a long-delayed energy bill to the weekly cabinet meeting.

One of the bill’s goals is to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy from 75 per cent.of its electricity production to 50 per cent.

Royal also plans to boost renewable energy sources.

The plan does not live up to President François Hollande’s campaign promises on the environment, for MP Noël Mamère, who resigned from the Green Party, EELV, last year because he felt it had betrayed its original ideals.

“First the closing of the Fessenheim nuclear plant does not appear at all in the bill,” he told RFI. “Nothing is said about agriculture while it’s one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing is said about public transport and rail freight. And meanwhile, we continue to support a project such as the Lyon-Turin rail link that costs millions of euros.”

Hervé Mariton of the right-wing UMP party told RFI that he found the plan unconvincing.

Businesses gave a cautious welcome to Royal’s proposals.

Continue reading at France to boost renewable energy, reduce nuclear

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