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Energy Dept. faces major hurdles to reopen New Mexico nuclear dump via Los Angeles Times

7,000 steps are needed to reopen damaged nuclear waste dump in N.M., officials say

Cost of N.M. nuclear waste dump accident could approach $1 billion

The Energy Department has identified 7,000 steps needed to reopen its badly damaged nuclear waste dump in New Mexico, but cannot say how long it will take or how much it will cost.

The agency was expected to release a written recovery plan Thursday, but instead provided a few details about the plan, which awaits formal approval by the department.

Outside experts say that the dump will probably not reopen until well after the start of 2016 and that the cost of the accident will approach $1 billion.

[...]

The dump experienced two accidents earlier this year. First, a large fire broke out on a mining truck inside the mine, 2,150 feet below the surface. Shortly thereafter, a waste drum ruptured, releasing radioactivity that contaminated a significant part of the mine. Some material traveled up ventilation shafts to the surface, where 21 workers were exposed, according to an accident investigation.

The investigation so far has not explained why the drum ruptured, nor what chemicals were inside. The drum was packaged at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The mine has been shut since early February, causing a backup of nuclear waste at Energy Department weapons labs and cleanup sites across the nation.

[...]

In addition, the Energy Department must drill a new ventilation shaft, repair a broken waste hoist, clean up debris and soot, stabilize the mine walls that have gone unattended for nine months, put new batteries in vehicles, install a new ventilation system, erect a bulkhead to seal off the room with the ruptured drum and seal surfaces that are contamined with radioactive dust, Blankenhorn said.

Once recovery operations begin underground, the existing damaged ventilation system will allow only two diesel-powered vehicles to operate at the same time in the mine. That will limit how fast work can proceed.

The sealing plan involves spraying the surfaces with water so that the salt melts and encapsulates the waste. Then the surface must be covered with two layers of material and, atop that, another layer of clean salt.

[...]

Even if the dump reopens by then, the two-year shutdown would have consumed two years’ worth of the annual budget for the operation, amounting to about $400 million, and at least another $300 million of additional appropriations that have been discussed for repairs.

But that is unlikely to cover the full cost of the repairs, Hancock said. In addition, tons of waste are backing up across the nation, forcing laboratories and other cleanup sites to store radioactive material longer, at an unspecified cost.

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「川内の次は高浜」の思いも…不透明な原発再稼働に廃炉問題も、苦悩深まる関電 via msn.産経ニュース

(抜粋)

焦る関電

 川内の次に、原子力規制委員会の審査を通過しそうな2番手の原発がいまだ定まらない。

とりあえず現在、有力視されているのは、審査合格の必要条件となる「基準地震動(想定される最大の揺れ)」が了承されている高浜原発と九電玄海原発(佐賀県)の2原発。ただ、高浜は玄海より約3カ月も前に地震動が認められただけに、関電の2番手への期待感は強い。

「川内を追い抜くとは言わないが、間髪いれずに高浜を再稼働できるようにしたい」

関電幹部は、強い口調で訴える。高浜原発の再稼働が遅れれば、財務状況の悪化は避けられず、遠からず申請が検討される電気料金の再値上げの幅にも影響しか ねない。関電は、何とか今年度中に高浜を再稼働させたい考えで、川内原発の審査合格が決まった10日、関電の森詳介会長も「高浜の審査を進めてほしい」と 規制委に注文をつけることを忘れなかった。

だが、現実は思うように進まない。トップを走る川内原発でさえ、地元同意が必要で、再稼働は越 年する見通しだ。川内のすぐ後に審査合格できなければ、高浜原発の年度内の再稼働は厳しい。しかも高浜原発は事実上の合格証となる「審査書案」の作成作業 にも入れていない段階だ。

(略)

悩ましい課題も

 大飯、高浜原発の早期再稼働を目指す一方で、老朽化した原発の廃炉を検討する課題が関電にのしかかっている。政府は近く、稼働40年超の原発を廃炉するかの判断を年内に示すよう電力各社に求める方針だ。

関電で対象となる美浜原発1、2号機(福井県)の運転を延長する場合、原子炉圧力容器などの劣化を調べる「特別点検」が必要だ。特別点検や安全対策には数 千億円規模の追加費用がかかるにもかかわらず、美浜1号機の出力は34万キロワット、2号機は50万キロワットで、合計しても大飯原発の1基分にも満たな い。このため「廃炉の決断も視野に入れざるえない」(関電幹部)のが実情だ。

半面、廃炉にするとしても、建物などの資産価値が減るため、大幅な損失計上が求められるため、経営への影響を見極める必要がある。関電幹部は「廃炉か運転継続の選択は、社運を左右する重大な決断。結論は来年まで持ち越す恐れもある」と話す。

先行きがいまだ不透明な再稼働と、避けられない廃炉の問題。赤字脱却の鍵を握る原発をめぐる関電の苦悩は今後も続きそうだ。

全文は「川内の次は高浜」の思いも…不透明な原発再稼働に廃炉問題も、苦悩深まる関電

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あやまれ つぐなえ なくせ原発・放射能汚染 DVDダイジェスト版 via福島原発被害弁護団

DVD「あやまれ つぐなえ なくせ原発・放射能汚染」ダイジェスト版です。最近、なかなか伝えられなくなった原発­事故被害の現状、それと戦う人々の姿を福島発で伝えます。本編は48分。制作は、原発­事故の完全賠償をさせる会、元の生活を返せ・原発事故被害市民訴訟原告団、ふるさとを­返せ・福島原発避難者訴訟原告団。ディレクター大小田直貴 プロデューサー後藤秀典。2014年8月。

DVDご注文はこちら☞DVD第1弾、DVD第2弾

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「付着線量 著しく低い」 来年配備の原子力空母RR via 東京新聞

横須賀市の米海軍横須賀基地に来年配備される原子力空母「ロナルド・レーガン」(RR)が東日本大震災で米軍の救援活動「トモダチ作戦」に参加した際、原発事故の影響で乗組員が被ばくしたと米メディアが報じているのをめぐり、吉田雄人市長は十八日の市議会一般質問で「RRに付着した放射性物質の放射能レベルは著しく低いと米側が説明した」と述べ、被ばく線量を確認する必要はないとの考えを示した。 (中沢佳子)
 山城保男市議(無会派)がただした。山城市議はRRの除染が済んでいることに触れ、「人的被害が及ぶ線量ではないというが、具体的な線量を明らかにするよう米側に求めるべきだ」と指摘した。
 吉田市長は「米側が日本政府に『RRの放射性物質は適切に除去した。付着した放射性物質の放射能レベルは著しく低く、乗組員や市民の健康、環境に懸念を生じさせるものではない』と説明した」と答弁。米側の説明そのままの政府見解を、市が受け入れていることを明らかにした。
 山城市議は国を通じて具体的な数字を確認するよう求めたが、吉田市長は「自衛隊の艦船や飛行機、警察や消防の車両も福島での活動に使われた。RRだけ線量を知りたいというのは、考え方として相いれない」と拒否。放射線監視装置(モニタリングポスト)で監視体制をとっているとした。

もっと読む。

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Consensus eludes nuclear dump hearings via The Star.com

The public has had its final say on whether it’s a good idea in principle to bury half a century’s worth of nuclear waste at the Bruce nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Huron.
A federal panel wrapped up one last round of public hearings Thursday on Ontario Power Generation’s proposal for the waste site near Kincardine.

[....]
The panel called the latest hearings after former OPG scientist Frank Greening said that OPG had severely understated the amount and level of radioactive material destined for the site.
[...]
But officials who appeared before the committee said that while some of OPG’s original work was incorrect, the built-in safety margins mean that the site remains safe for workers and the public.
Radiation doses in the case of accidents would still be within acceptable levels, they said.
[...]
OPG says it won’t proceed with the project over the objections of SON, on whose traditional territory the Bruce nuclear site lies.
The final word at the hearings from SON leaders was: You have not heard the last word from us.
Former chief Randall Kahgee – a lawyer who is now heading SON’s process for determining community support for the project – told the panel that the communities have formed a working group.

[...]
Thursday, Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow introduced resolution urging the U.S. administration to oppose the project. Stabenow also wrote directly to the Canadian government.
Earlier, Michigan state senator Phil Pavlov told the hearing that Canadian politicians including then-Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley and then-external affairs minister Joe Clark were publicly worried in 1986, when the U.S. considered putting a waste site near the Canadian border.
“We agree with the Canadian government of the 1980s that the permanent storage of nuclear waste has no place in the Great Lakes basin,” Pavlov said.

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Concern over another WIPP drum via Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – A drum at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been singled out as having contents – including a discarded glove containing lead – that are most similar to those in a barrel that popped open due to a chemical reaction in February, causing a radiation leak that has shut down the underground nuclear waste dump.

In a presentation to state legislators Tuesday in Carlsbad, Terry Wallace, Los Alamos National Laboratories’ official in charge of the investigation of what happened at WIPP, said it’s still not known what started the reaction. Previously, lead in the glove from a worker that processed waste has been cited as among the potential igniters.

A second LANL drum with similar contents and which is in an unsealed area of WIPP also is said to have a glove in it, Wallace disclosed at the Tuesday meeting.

“I cannot guarantee that second drum won’t go (have a chemical reaction), nor can I guarantee that all conditions are likely to make it go,” Wallace said, according to a report in the Carlsbad Current-Argus.

[...]

The report says there are 678 remediated drums that are “higher risk” because of the mixtures in the containers. Most are at WIPP, but 113 were sent to an Andrews, Texas, facility shortly after the February leak and 57 still require additional processing at Los Alamos.

Of the 678, 16 have absorbed free liquid with pH levels similar to the one that leaked, eight of those have absorbed free liquid with “organic liquid neutralizer” – an apparent reference to wheat-based kitty litter – and just two of those eight have gloves containing lead. One of these two drums is the one that leaked.

A spokesman for the New Mexico Environment Department provided this statement: “We can simply say all drums that have similar constituents to the breached drum have been isolated at LANL and/or Waste Control Specialists (in Texas) and are being monitored by DOE. The Environment Department instructed DOE to take these extra precautions several months ago and we have been informed such protective measures are in place.”

Read more at Concern over another WIPP drum

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Radio show aborted for DJ’s comments on media control after 311 via Fukushima Diary

“InterFM” decided to abort one of their major radio shows “Barakan Morning”. The DJ commented in the radio show of 9/15/2014.

The show started in September of 2009. After one year blank, it restarted in April of 2013.

Peter Barakan, the program DJ from England, is known to have criticized the government of Japan for its media control after 311.

In the Tokyo gubernatorial election of 2014, he confessed that he was requested not to mention “nuclear” by two radio stations.

[...]

His show is going to end in the end of September.

Read more at Radio show aborted for DJ’s comments on media control after 311 (available in French)

 

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ビキニ事件 他船乗組員も高い放射線量検出 via NHK News Web

60年前、アメリカが太平洋のビキニ環礁で行った水爆実験で、日本の漁船「第五福竜丸」の乗組員が被爆したいわゆるビキニ事件で、厚生労働省は周辺で操業していたほかの漁船の乗組員からも通常より高い放射線量が検出されていたことを示す記録を開示しました。

この記録は19日、情報公開請求をしていた高知県の研究者に対して開示されたものです。
ビキニ事件は60年前の昭和29年3月、アメリカが太平洋のビキニ環礁で行った水爆実験で、静岡県のマグロ漁船、第五福竜丸の乗組員23人がいわゆる死の灰を浴びて被爆し、半年後に1人が死亡したものです。
当時、周辺の海域では多くの日本の漁船が操業していて、このうち、第五福竜丸を含む470隻余りの漁船の乗組員について、ビキニ事件からおよそ10か月間、放射線量が測定されていました。
開 示された記録では通常、自然界で被ばくする放射線量は年間2.1ミリシーベルト程度なのに対し、第五福竜丸以外の合わせて12隻の漁船の乗組員の一部から は年間に換算して4ミリシーベルトを超える放射線量が検出され、なかには、40ミリシーベルトを超えていた乗組員もいたということです。厚生労働省はこれ まで第五福竜丸以外の乗組員の記録は見つかっていないと説明していましたが、情報公開請求を受けて調査した結果、茨城県にある倉庫に保管されていたという ことです。
厚生労働省は「一部の乗組員について通常より高い放射線量が検出されているが、あくまで1年間、被ばくし続けたと想定した場合の数値なので、健康に影響があったとは考えられない」としています。

続きはビキニ事件 他船乗組員も高い放射線量検出

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再稼働反対の集会、23日に東京で 大江さんら呼びかけ via 朝日新聞

作家の大江健三郎さんら「『さようなら原発』1千万署名 市民の会」の呼びかけ人が19日に記者会見し、九州電力川内(せんだい)原発鹿児島県)の再稼働に反対する集会を23日に東京都江東区の亀戸中央公園で開く、と発表した。渋谷区代々木公園での開催を予定していたが、同園やその周辺でデング熱の感染が広がったため、会場を変更した。

(略)

集会は午前11時からで、午後2時30分からデモ行進をする予定。事務局のホームページは http://sayonara-nukes.org/で、電話は03・5289・8224(平日のみ)。

全文は再稼働反対の集会、23日に東京で 大江さんら呼びかけ

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The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room via The Center for Public Integrity

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts
[...]
The policy of never publicly confirming what a scholar once called one of the world’s “worst-kept secrets” dates from a political deal between the United States and Israel in the late 1960s. Its consequence has been to help Israel maintain a distinctive military posture in the Middle East while avoiding the scrutiny — and occasional disapprobation — directed at the world’s eight acknowledged nuclear powers.

But the U.S. policy of shielding the Israeli program has recently provoked new controversy, partly because of allegations that it played a role in the censure of a well-known national laboratory arms researcher in July, after he published an article in which he acknowledged that Israel has nuclear arms. Some scholars and experts are also complaining that the government’s lack of candor is complicating its high-profile campaign to block the development of nuclear arms in Iran, as well as U.S.-led planning for a potential treaty prohibiting nuclear arms anywhere in the region.

The U.S. silence is largely unwavering, however. “We would never say flatly that Israel has nuclear weapons,” explained a former senior State Department official who dealt with nuclear issues during the Bush administration. “We would have to couch it in other language, we would have to say ‘we assume’ or ‘we presume that Israel has nuclear weapons,’ or ‘it’s reported’ that they have them,” the former official said, requesting that his name not be used due to the political sensitivity surrounding the topic.

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