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Plans to dump Hinkley Point mud off south Wales criticised via BBC News

Plans to dredge 300,000 tonnes of mud from near a disused nuclear plant and dump it off Cardiff Bay have been criticised.

A marine pollution expert claims the mud from near Hinkley Point in Somerset could expose people to radioactivity.

EDF Energy, the company behind the plans, said the work was not harmful to humans or the environment.

The Welsh Government said all applications were considered in line with legal requirements.

[…]

He told BBC Wales low level waste from the nuclear plant had entered the site for more than 50 years and there was a lack of knowledge about the potential harm of moving the mud.

“Rather than being relatively stable at the Hinkley site it is being churned up and brought over here to be dumped,” he said.

“Radioactive and non-radioactive pollutants will inevitably enter inshore waters and coastal environments.

[…]

‘No threat’

NRW said protecting people and the environment was a “fundamental concern” and further sampling would be required before any sediment was disposed off the south Wales coast.

[…]

Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths said she was unable to comment on a process that had been carried out “some time ago”, but added: “All marine applications are considered in line with legal requirements.

“I understand a valid marine licence is in place and there are conditions that need to be complied with by the licence holder before any disposal can take place.”

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Dounreay: The massive and most complex nuclear clean-up in Europe via the Herald

DOUNREAY was the centre of Britain’s research into fast-reactor technology in the 1960s, with the first of its reactors going live in 1958.

In 1962, its fast reactor was the first in the world to provide electricity to a national grid and it operated until 1977.

A damning safety audit by the Health and Safety Executive and Sepa in 1998 made 143 recommendations for improvements and a decommissioning programme was announced.

It is now recognised as the most complex nuclear site closure project in Europe, which will involve the dismantling of the site’s three reactors, starting in 2018,

This will include the removal of its famous “golf-ball” dome, which houses the fast reactor, as part of the final phase of the £1.6 billion clean-up of the old nuclear site.

Most of the radioactive materials held there, such as fuel, are being moved to other locations, including Sellafield in Cumbria, where it will be reprocessed or stored.

[…]

Some 800 fuel elements from power plants and research centres in Australia, Belgium, Germany and Italy were processed before a key chemical plant broke down in 1996.

Dounreay said at the time the resulting liquid waste would be mixed with cement, solidified in drums and returned to the countries of origin, in line with government commitments.

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US to renew nuclear pact with Japan via Nikkei Asia Review

Japan would be able to continue to stockpile plutonium

WASHINGTON — Japan and the U.S. will likely let their existing nuclear cooperation agreement renew automatically when the pact expires next July, enabling Tokyo to continue reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.

President Donald Trump’s administration has no intention of ending or renegotiating the deal, a spokesperson at the U.S. State Department told The Nikkei Saturday. Since the Japanese government has been seeking the pact’s renewal, there is now a good chance that the treaty will simply remain in force without any modifications.

The agreement governing Japan’s peaceful use of nuclear energy came into effect in 1988. Its initial 30-year term is to expire in July 2018. Unless either side requests termination or revisions at least six months prior to the expiration date, the accord will be renewed automatically. However, the pact can be terminated by either party at any time with six months’ notice.

Special privilege

Under the agreement, the U.S. government grants permission for Japan to process spent nuclear fuel and produce plutonium for peaceful uses. This privilege, afforded only to Japan among the nations that do not possess nuclear weapons, has enabled Tokyo to pursue nuclear energy recycling.

If the accord were terminated, Japan would need to secure U.S. permission for each step in nuclear fuel reprocessing. Such a cumbersome requirement would make it impractical for Japan to continue operating a reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, effectively putting an end to its nuclear fuel policy. This is why the Japanese government has sought to renew the accord, which is formally known as the Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

[…]

However, Japan does not have any immediate use for plutonium. Its government decided last year to decommission the Monju fast breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, which was designed to use a plutonium-based fuel. The so-called pluthermal project, which aims to use a mixture of plutonium and uranium known as mixed oxide fuel, to generate power at light-water reactors, has stalled after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

Japan has not done enough to reduce its plutonium stockpile, Thomas Countryman, an ex-assistant secretary of state for international security and nuclear nonproliferation under the Barack Obama administration, said Sept. 13 at a meeting here in the U.S. capital.

There is also a question of fairness, since Japan is the only non-nuclear power that the U.S. allows to produce plutonium, while other countries, such as South Korea, have been asking for a similar deal.

Furthermore, a new reprocessing plant is slated for completion next year. Once this facility, capable of producing 8 tons of plutonium annually, starts operating, Japan will have even more plutonium, for which it has no concrete use.

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【原発事故】チェルノブイリ原発には未発見の遺体が眠っている件 / 現在も放射線量が凄まじいため近寄れず via ガジェット通信

1986年4月26日に発生したチェルノブイリ原子力発電所事故。世界で「史上最悪の原子力事故」といわれており、人類の歴史のなかでも、福島第一原子力発電所事故と並んで大規模な原発事故である。

(略)

・遺体を見つけることすらできない
事故発生時、4号炉で作業をしていた人物ワレリー・ホデムチュク氏である。あまりにも放射線量が強烈なため、救助はおろか、事故から30年以上が経過した現在でも、遺体を見つけることすらできていないのが現状だ。

・非常に心が痛む状況
遺体というかたちではあるが、今現在もすさまじい放射線を浴びながら彼が4号炉で眠っているのは、非常に心が痛む状況。そんな彼のために、ギリギリ人間が近づいていけるチェルノブイリ原発内のエントランスに、彼の墓碑が作られている。

墓碑のある壁の向こうは、放射線量が強烈なため人間が近寄れない4号炉がある。事故から30年以上が経過しても近寄れない場所があるのだ。そしてそこには、いまもワレリー・ホデムチュク氏が眠っている。

・立派な墓碑と献花
そこはチェルノブイリ原発の入り口から数百メートルほど進んだ深部にあり、ふだんは人が訪れない寂しい場所。しかし立派な墓碑と献花がされており、スタッフや政府が彼の存在を忘れていないこと、そして重大な事故であったこと深く感じさせてくれる。ちなみに、この墓碑がある場所も高い放射線量が計測されるので、長居をするべきではない。

・ウクライナに知るべき歴史あり
もしウクライナに行く機会があれば、チェルノブイリ原発に行かなくとも、資料館で当時の出来事を知ることが可能だし、体験談を話してくれる人もいる。観光都市として素晴らしいウクライナだが、人類にとって重要な「知るべき歴史」がそこにあるのだ。

続きと写真は【原発事故】チェルノブイリ原発には未発見の遺体が眠っている件 / 現在も放射線量が凄まじいため近寄れず

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Efforts to squash plans for nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron escalate via The Voice

Rep. Mitchell sends message to Canadian government

U.S. Congressman Paul Mitchell, representing Michigan’s 10th District, recently delivered an indirect message to the Canadian government, urging it squash the proposed development of a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Huron.

On Sept. 14, Mitchell offered an amendment to a House funding bill that would prohibit U.S. staff members of the International Joint Commission from attending a water resources conference next year.

Is the amendment anything other than symbolic?

Frank Bevacqua, public information officer for the IJC, had not heard about Mitchell’s amendment as of Sept. 17.

“My amendment serves to highlight to the Canadian government the gravity of this issue,” said Mitchell, as heard on C-SPAN. “The International Joint Commission was developed to resolve binational water disputes between the United States and Canada, yet they have not addressed this critical issue to the Great Lakes.”

The IJC was formed in 1909 as part of the Boundary Waters Treaty between the United States and Canada.

[…]

Mitchell called his amendment a “step to protect the Great Lakes.”

“Ontario Power Generation, an Ontario energy company, has proposed to build an underground nuclear waste facility along the shores of Lake Huron, which borders my district,” Mitchell said on the floor. “Their plan is nothing short of irresponsible. Any failure at this site would have devastating impacts on Michigan and Canada, who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, tourism and commerce. Canada and OPG have displayed intransigence in the face of the near-universal objection of my constituents and the residents of the Great Lake region.”

As of June, 227 resolutions opposing the waste dump had been passed by governmental bodies on both sides of the border, according to the website Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump. Earlier this year, the city councils of Marysville and St. Clair restated their opposition to the dump.

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浜岡建設受け入れ50年 原発マネー依存今も via 中日新聞

 旧浜岡町(御前崎市)が中部電力浜岡原発の建設を受け入れてから二十八日で五十年を迎える。地元は事故やトラブルと向き合いながら、原発が落とす交付金などに頼ってまちづくりを進めてきた。しかし、二〇一一年三月の福島第一原発事故以降、南海トラフ巨大地震の想定震源域に立つ浜岡原発は全炉停止したまま。先行きは見通せない。

 町は一九六七(昭和四十二)年九月二十八日、安全確保などを条件に原発計画を受け入れた。約八年半後に1号機が営業運転を開始。二〇〇五年一月までに2~5号機も続いた。

 半世紀前は、農業が産業の柱だった旧浜岡町。これまでに約五百億円の電源三法交付金が入った。総合病院や図書館などが次々と建ち、道路も整備されて街並みはみるみる変わった。ただ、原発誘致に携わった元浜岡町長の鴨川義郎さん(90)は「裕福になり、職員や住民に知恵がなくなった」と、原発マネーに依存するあまり、自主的な行政運営能力が劣化した状況を憂う。

 御前崎市の一七年度一般会計当初予算百七十一億円に占める原発関連収入の割合は27%に上るが、固定資産税の減少などに伴って減っている。3、4号機の再稼働を巡る原子力規制委員会の審査は、優先した4号機の申請から三年半を過ぎた今も序盤の段階。耐震設計の目安となる地震の揺れなどについて、規制委と中部電力の間で議論が続いている。

(略)

一九六七年四月の旧浜岡町の町長選。当選した故河原崎貢さんはその翌月に初めて原発計画を知った。町企画室長だった鴨川さんとともに、建設候補地の佐倉地区出身で産経新聞社長などを務め「財界四天王」と称された故水野成夫さんに相談に出向き、「泥田に金の卵を産む鶴が舞い降りたようなもの」と受け入れを勧められた。

 お茶、たばこ、サツマイモ。町の産業は農業だけだった。貧しいねぇ。新しい事業も道路の舗装も、河川の改修もできません。職員は使用済みの封筒の裏表をひっくり返し、議員に出す通知に使っていた。私は原発計画を、元町長の父啻一(ただいち)から町長選前の六七年三月ごろに聞いていた。町長選の争点にならないように「言うなよ」と口止めされてた。産経新聞に載った七月頃から町民が騒ぎ出した。役場で化学を知っていたのは、専門学校で農芸化学を学んだ私ぐらい。町民には、原爆じゃなく、管理された原子力だから安全だと伝えるのが大変だった。

 浜岡原発1号機が稼働する中、マグニチュード8程度の地震が起きるという東海地震説が七六年に発表。七九年の米スリーマイル島原発事故、八一年には敦賀原発1号機放射能漏れと問題が集中、浜岡原発にも地元住民から冷ややかな視線が注がれた。

 八二年に着工した3号機増設の時が一番大変だった。生活もまだ不便で、増設するなら町立病院を造らなきゃという気持ちがあった。中電からは十八億円かな、病院建設費の足りない分をもらった。

 原発は五基できた。市は交付金の恩恵を受け、浜岡原発で働く約千五百人が市内で暮らしている。

 依存している。金がなければ何とかして財源を生みだそうとするが、あるからのうのうとするわけだ。職員も住民も。原発がないと日本はやっていけない。地域発展や国策のために協力してきた。浜岡は防潮堤を造り、福島のようにはならないと思う。でも、河原崎町長も言っていたが、一生十字架を背負っている。何かあれば、当時の責任者として、受け入れた側の責任を感じる。

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「韓国のWTO敗訴確実」 日本の水産物規制で与党議員 via 日本経済新聞

 【ソウル=共同】韓国が東京電力福島第1原発事故を理由に日本からの水産物輸入を規制しているのは不当な差別だとして、日本政府が世界貿易機関(WTO)に提訴している問題で、韓国の与党「共に民主党」の奇東旻(キ・ドンミン)議員は24日、WTOが韓国に送った意見書の内容から、「一審」での敗訴は「確実だ」と述べた。

奇議員が国会で記者会見したと聯合ニュースが報じた。

奇議員によると、WTOは23日にこれまでの検討内容を記した意見書を韓国に送付。これで日本が主要争点としてきた「差別性」と「貿易制限性」の点で、日本に有利な解釈が行われていることを確認したとしている。

(略)

ただ、一審に当たる紛争処理小委員会(パネル)の審理で韓国が敗れても「最終審」である上級委員会に上訴することなどにより、少なくとも2019年までは規制は解除されないとの見通しを示した。

全文は「韓国のWTO敗訴確実」 日本の水産物規制で与党議員

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Chiba court recognizes nuke disaster evacuees’ ‘loss of hometown’ for first time via The Mainichi

When on Sept. 22 the Chiba District Court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to pay some 376 million yen in damages to a group of Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees, it gave concrete recognition to the evacuees’ loss — of hometowns, jobs and personal relationships — for the first time.

[…]

Six and a half years after the disaster, even in areas where evacuation orders have been lifted, the reconstruction of the communities that once thrived there is still a distant prospect. However, though it absolved the government of legal liability, this court ruling — the second in a slew of class action suits filed against TEPCO and the government — can be said to be a breakthrough far exceeding previous compensation levels.

“The Maebashi District Court (in March) recognized the responsibility of both the government and TEPCO, but this ended up feeling like a victory in name only, with no ‘reward.’ But it can be said that the Chiba (District Court) decision finally reaped ‘rewards,”’ commented lawyer Katsuyoshi Suzuki, lead counsel of the plaintiffs’ legal team in the Maebashi court case, who was at a gathering in Chiba awaiting the Sept. 22 ruling.

[…]

What stood out was that the court explicitly recognized the payout as compensation for the loss of hometowns, jobs and personal relationships suffered by the nuclear disaster evacuees. The majority of the plaintiffs in the Chiba case were residents of designated evacuation zones, and claimed they lost their livelihoods, relationships and local customs to the nuclear disaster, and were stripped of their right to live a peaceful life. They had sought 20 million yen in compensation each, saying that the interim guidelines did not accurately reflect the pain of losing their hometowns.

Concerning communities where the evacuation orders had been lifted by this spring, including the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, TEPCO cited falling radiation levels and infrastructure restoration as evidence that the plaintiffs’ claim that they lost their hometowns permanently was false. As such, TEPCO argued that their current compensation standards were sufficient.

However, even in areas where evacuation orders have been lifted, only roughly 10 percent of former residents have returned. The court decision stated, “(The plaintiffs) have lost their close connections to their local communities over a substantial period of time. Simply lifting evacuation orders will not immediately relieve this suffering,” awarding 36 of the plaintiffs an average of some 3 million yen each. Nevertheless, some of the plaintiffs are not satisfied by the results.

[…]

 

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Nearly 20% of Japan’s quake recovery funds still sit idle via Nikkei Asian Review

Six years on, communities struggle to start projects worth nearly $5bn

[…]

The Nikkei compiled government survey data and determined that — six years after an earthquake and tsunami ripped through the region — reconstruction projects worth 534.6 billion yen ($4.85 billion) have not started, in the absence of contracts for them. That equates to 19% of all allocations for rebuilding in three prefectures: Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

What is the holdup? Part of the problem is the difficulty of building a consensus in affected communities. Other factors include a shortage of labor and the complex task of coordinating multiple construction projects that all need to move at once.

[…]

The March 2011 disaster, which claimed nearly 20,000 lives, destroyed a staggering number of homes along with critical infrastructure.The central, prefectural and municipal governments that launched reconstruction projects at the same time are still struggling with “traffic control” issues.

For municipal governments like that of Kesennuma, the workload has soared.

The Kesennuma city office has a general-account budget of some 100 billion yen for fiscal 2017, up from around 30 billion yen before the disaster. At one point after the disaster, the budget hit 200 billion yen. The number of government workers, though, has remained almost unchanged. Each staff member is saddled with three to six times more work.

This also explains the project delays.

Then there is that matter of consensus-building:[…]

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労働時間がいちばん長い都道府県は? ランキングで明らかになる「格差」via niftyニュース

労働時間が長い都道府県1位はどこだろうか?
近年、ブラック企業が問題視されているが、ニュースになるのは大都市かその周辺にある都道府県のようなイメージがある。

ところが、厚生労働省の「毎月勤労統計調査」(2015年)によると、労働時間が長い都道府県1位は、意外なことに「福島県」だという。

この調査は、「5人以上の事業所」と「30人以上の事業所」に分けられているが、どちらも1位は「福島県」。
ちなみに、5人以上のランキングは、「2位:岩手県」「3位:青森県」「4位:山形県」「5位:宮崎県」。30人以上では「2位:長崎県」「3位:青森県」「4位:富山県」「5位:岩手県」と続く。

地方ばかりがランクインするのは、「人手不足」が関連していると思われる。
同じ仕事量でも、少ない人数で働かないといけない環境ならば、ひとりひとりの労働時間が長くなるのは無理もない。

こうしたさまざまな都道府県のランキングを調査した一冊が『都道府県格差』(造事務所著、 橘木俊詔監修、日本経済新聞出版社刊)だ。

[…]

 

 

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