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America’s “Hole-in-the-Head” Nuke Suicide Pact Gets Court Approval via Reader Supported News

By Harvey Wasserman

The Supreme Court has just now certified the deadliest and most economically destructive scam of the entire Trump catastrophe.

Every downwind American is now threatened with deadly radiation while state after state bankrupts itself with soaring electric bills and ecological disaster, crippling the Solartopian green energy revolution.

It is, in short, the “hole in the head” wave of massive state-based nuke bailouts 

All across the US, brain-dead Trumpist legislatures are scamming public billions into dying nuke reactors that pose the #1 threat to human survival on this planet. 

All the world’s 440 reactors (98 in the US) are decrepit, crumbling, ready to blow. They’re uninspected, under-maintained, filthy, falling apart. They emit massive quantities of heat and radiation that cause climate chaos. Most are huge money-losers that can’t compete with green Solartopian technologies. 

They are epitomized by Ohio’s infamous “hole in the head” Davis-Besse nuke, currently crumbling outside Toledo. In keeping with the Luddite wave now sweeping Trumpnation, the Ohio legislature may soon fork over billions to keep it running toward the ultimate failure.

The state-based nuke bailout craze actually started with New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

In 2016-2017, he began gouging the Empire State for some $7.6 billion to underwrite four dying upstate nukes. All lose mega-cash while killing countless jobs by raising electric rates and blocking renewables.

Wind, solar, batteries and LED/efficiency were set to make the Empire state both energy independent and fully employed. But Cuomo is blocking that by scamming ratepayers as far away as Long Island who get zero juice from the nukes they’re being forced to subsidize.

Cuomo originally promised the payouts would soon decline. Instead, they rose $50 million this year, even beyond the original bailout scam

The Illinois legislature is doing the same for three downstate reactors. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are contemplating a similar suicide. 

[…]

Now the Trump-run Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it may simply stop inspecting these older reactors just as they most need it. They want owners to stop informing the public of mishaps just as they become more frequent and dangerous.

The terrifying escalation of reactor disasters has risen from the near-miss at Michigan’s Fermi One (1966) to the melt-down at TMI (1979) to the mega-explosion at Chernobyl (1986) to the three melt-downs/four explosions at Fukushima.

After that 2011 disaster, NRC staff compiled upgrades to guard against another one. But the Trump Commission killed them all, leaving the fleet even more dangerous than before Fukushima.

When the next big reactor blows, industry hacks like Ann Coulter will be all over Fox explaining that radiation is good and that plutonium is pixie dust that really won’t harm our kids.

But the ghastly death tolls at TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima say otherwise.

Based on the insane claim that nukes deserve “zero emission credits,” the Supreme Court has cleared the way for still more of these insane bailouts.

Grassroots Solartopians are fighting back. Ohio’s bailout has been held off for years, and may yet fail. They’ve petitioned California Governor Gavin Newsom to independently inspect Diablo Canyon.

They’ve also poured into the bankruptcy court, where FirstEnergy’s inabilities are on global display alongside those of California’s Pacific Gas & Electric, the money-losing behemoth that in 2010 killed eight people with badly maintained pipelines, then killed eighty more with badly maintained power lines that incinerated an entire ecosystem, including 12,000 structures.

The uncaring incompetence of this dying industry and its technology of death guarantee that unless these bailouts stop, far worse is yet to come.

But Ohio may top them all.


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Tepco says foreign workers on new visas can work at crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant via Japan Times

[…]

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has told dozens of its subcontractors that foreign workers coming under the recently adopted program, which is intended to address Japan’s acute labor shortage, may engage in the work of decommissioning the plant.

They may also take up work cleaning buildings and providing food services, the company said.

To prevent unsafe levels of radiation exposure, Tepco said foreign workers must have Japanese-language abilities that allow them to accurately understand the risks and follow procedures and instructions communicated to them in Japanese.

In controlled radiation areas, workers need to carry dosimeters. On average, approximately 4,000 people work for Tepco subcontractors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant each day.

Tepco is also considering accepting workers from overseas at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, the officials said. The company aims to reboot reactors at the complex, which have been suspended following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and have been undergoing renovations to improve safety.

“The decision to hire foreign workers under the new visa system is up to our subcontractors and we have not set a target figure” for such employees, said a Tepco official. “We will manage the situation as a company that places orders” for laborers.

The new system was implemented on April 1 to bring in mainly blue-collar foreign workers to 14 labor-hungry sectors including construction, farming and nursing care. Tepco has confirmed with the Justice Ministry that holders of visas under the latest plan are eligible to work at the Fukushima plant.

To address exploitation fears under the new visa system, the Justice Ministry issued an ordinance requiring employers to pay wages equivalent to or higher than those of Japanese nationals.

Every person working at the plant has a limit on how much radiation they may be exposed to, but due to the complex nature of secondary employment arrangements, oversight is proving to be a challenge.

In May last year, six people in the government’s foreign trainee program were found to have engaged in construction work at the Fukushima plant despite Tepco’s ban on program participants working at the complex. The six were hired by one of the utility’s subcontractors.

The Justice Ministry does not allow foreign trainees working under the program, which is aimed at transferring skills to developing countries, to engage in decommissioning work as the skills acquired would have no application in their home country. The internship program is often criticized as a cover for companies to import cheap labor.

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U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change via Bloomberg

By Christopher Flavelle and Jeremy C.F. Lin

In 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi power plant, Gregory Jaczko, then the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, had to worry about two things: whether radioactive fallout would harm the U.S. and whether a similar accident could befall an American plant. The answer to the first question turned out to be no. The second question preoccupies him still.

[…]

That process has revealed a lot of gaps. But Jaczko and others say that the commission’s new leadership, appointed by President Donald Trump, hasn’t done enough to require owners of nuclear power plants to take preventative measures—and that the risks are increasing as climate change worsens.

According to a Bloomberg review of correspondence between the commission and plant owners, 54 of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. weren’t designed to handle the flood risk they face. Fifty-three weren’t built to withstand their current risk from intense precipitation; 25 didn’t account for current flood projections from streams and rivers; 19 weren’t designed for their expected maximum storm surge. Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle.

The industry argues that rather than redesign facilities to address increased flood risk, which Jaczko advocates, it’s enough to focus mainly on storing emergency generators, pumps, and other equipment in on-site concrete bunkers, a system they call Flex, for Flexible Mitigation Capability. Not only did the NRC agree with that view, it ruled on Jan. 24 that nuclear plants wouldn’t have to update that equipment to deal with new, higher levels of expected flooding. It also eliminated a requirement that plants run Flex drills.

[…]

The commission “is carrying out the Trump deregulatory philosophy,” says Edwin Lyman, head of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The NRC basically did everything the industry wanted.” The two Democratic appointees objected to the NRC’s ruling. “The majority of the commission has decided that licensees can ignore these reevaluated hazards,” commissioner Jeff Baran wrote in dissent. His colleague Stephen Burns called the decision “baffling.” Through a spokesman, the Republican appointees declined to comment.

[…]

The fight over regulation and climate change comes when the nuclear industry, under pressure from cheap natural gas and still viewed with suspicion by many environmentalists, can least afford it, according to Peter Bradford, a former commissioner. “Anything that increases their costs now threatens their existence,” he says.

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【東京・4月21日】講演会原発事故から8年 「福島における小児甲状腺がんの多発」via Kirishin

チェルノブイリ子ども基金、未来の福島こども基金主催
4月21日(日)後7時~、ココネリホール(練馬区立区民・産業プラザ3階、東京都練馬区)。講師=崎山比早子(医学博士)。定員300人。800円(予約)、1000円(当日)。予約受付は4月18日(木)後3時まで。03-6767-8808(チェルノブイリ子ども基金)。

チェルノブイリ原発事故から33年。被災地では次世代の子どもにも健康被害は続いている。一方、8年が経過した福島原発事故もいまだ収束していない。事故現場は危険にあふれているというのに、政府は有害無益な除染を行い、避難指示を解除、20mSv帰還対策を強行している。小児甲状腺がんが数十倍に多発していても被ばくとの関係は考えにくい、という。

続きは【東京・4月21日】講演会原発事故から8年 「福島における小児甲状腺がんの多発」

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韓国政府「原発解体産業を育成」via Hankyoreh

古里1号を解体する2022年より前に市場を創出 
古里1・2号機のタービン隔離工事など早期発注 
釜山・蔚山・慶州に原発解体研究所を設立
 

韓国政府が原子力発電所の建設・運営だけでなく、解体・廃棄物の管理でもグローバル競争力を備えるため、国内で先に市場を創出し、解体専門企業を育成すると明らかにした。産業通商資源部は17日、政府ソウル庁舎で開かれた第13回経済活力対策会議で「原発解体産業の育成戦略(案)」を確定し発表した。政府は、2017年に永久停止された原発の古里(コリ)1号機を本格的に解体し始める2022年まで待たず、先に市場を創出すると明らかにした。古里1・2号機のタービン建屋隔離工事など、今すぐできることを細分化し、25の事業を早期発注する計画だ。

原発の密集地域である釜山・蔚山(ウルサン)・慶州(キョンジュ)には、2021年下半期までに原発解体研究所を設立し、解体技術を育てていく予定だ。国内の原発企業が建設から解体分野に事業領域を変えるよう、人材・金融などを総合的に支援する。2022年までに解体現場で働く人材1300人を育成するという目標も出した。

政府は世界の原発解体の市場規模を549兆ウォン(約54兆円)と推算している。まさにこれから開発される“ブルーオーシャン”(未開拓市場)だが、韓国はこれまで原発建設に重点を置いていたため、解体に関する技術や人材、インフラを育てるきっかけがなかったというのが政府の判断だ

続きは韓国政府「原発解体産業を育成」

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Ken Watanabe to star in ‘Fukushima 50’ film on disaster workers via The Mainichi

TOKYO — Actor Ken Watanabe will star in the “Fukushima 50” film depicting workers at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station who struggled with the 2011 meltdowns that is set to be released next year.

The original story comes from a nonfiction book based on the verbal evidence of people involved in countermeasures for the meltdowns written by Ryusho Kadota with the translated title “On the Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi.”

The main character is Masao Yoshida, the then head of the power station, played by Watanabe. The role of the shift supervisor who supported Yoshida is played by Koichi Sato. The two actors appeared at a press conference in Tokyo to promote the film on April 17 with Watanabe commenting, “The movie is not about arguing the rights and wrongs of nuclear power. I hope the film will help younger generations ponder the future.”

The film is directed by Setsuro Wakamatsu and is produced and distributed by KADOKAWA. A staff member of the film company said, “Many of the workers were from Fukushima Prefecture and have families. We created the film to pass down their feelings to future generations.”

[…]

(Japanese original by Yoshiaki Kobayashi, Cultural News Department)

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「福島の記憶」発信 映画「Fukushima 50」via 福島民友

東京都内で17日開かれた映画「Fukushima 50(フクシマフィフティ)」の撮影終了会見。佐藤浩市さんと渡辺謙さんは「福島出身の名もなき作業員が、家族や故郷のため、死を覚悟して事故対応に挑んだ物語である」と強調した。作品の海外展開も視野に入れており、日本映画界を代表する2人が「福島の記憶」の発信役を担う。

「まだ終わっていないどころか、始まっていないのかもしれない。当時を振り返りつつ前を向くために何をすべきか皆さんに考えてもらいたい」。

主役の佐藤さんは福島への思いを語り、映画を通して「われわれがメッセンジャーになる」と覚悟を示した。

渡辺さんは被災地の悩みを理解しているからこそ、これまで福島を題材にしたエンターテインメントに関わることに抵抗感を抱いていた。

作品の内容を知り「僕たちが力を発揮できる映画で現状を知ってもらいたい」と考えが変化。「時間はかかってしまったが、そういう作品を届けることができると、福島の皆さんに言いたい」と打ち明けた。

(略)

◆「何かを感じ取って」 当直長・伊崎利夫役の佐藤浩市さん 
撮影セットが忠実に再現されていた。電源を落とした暗い中での撮影が進む中、出演者みんながやつれていきリアルに感じた。

人間には忘れなければ生きていけないことと、絶対に忘れてはいけないことがある。映画で扱っている東日本大震災は後者。われわれがメッセンジャーとして事実をどう刻むか考えた。

(略)

◆「忘れないでほしい」 第1原発所長・吉田昌郎役の渡辺謙さん
 メディアで扱われることの多い所長の吉田昌郎さん役はプレッシャーだった。緊急対策室の外ですごいことが起きている焦燥感をどう感じるかも考えた。

(略)

ここ数年、仕事で社会に関わることを自問自答してきた。きちんと役と向き合ったことで原点に戻った気がする。今後、福島の現実を忘れないでほしいということを問い掛けていきたい。

全文は「福島の記憶」発信 映画「Fukushima 50」

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福島廃炉に外国人労働者 東電「特定技能」受け入れへvia 朝日新聞

 4月から始まった新しい在留資格「特定技能」の外国人労働者について、東京電力が、廃炉作業の続く福島第一原発などの現場作業に受け入れることを決めたことが分かった。3月28日の会議で、元請けなど数十社に周知した。

 東電などによると、ゼネコンなど協力会社数十社を対象とした会議「安全衛生推進協議会」で、特定技能の労働者の原発への受け入れについて説明。「建設」「産業機械製造業」「電気・電子情報関連産業」「自動車整備」「ビルクリーニング」「外食業」が該当すると示した。廃炉作業にあたる「建設」が主になるとしている。

 東電は、再稼働をめざす柏崎刈羽原発新潟県)でも受け入れる方針。

 東電は会議で、線量計の着用や特別教育が必要となる放射線管理対象区域では「放射線量の正確な理解、班長や同僚からの作業安全指示の理解が可能な日本語能力が必要と考えられる。法令の趣旨にのっとってください」と伝えたという。

 法務省は、第一原発内で東電が発注する事業について「全て廃炉に関するもので、一般的に海外で発生しうるものではない」とし、技能実習生の受け入れは、「国際貢献」という趣旨から不可としてきた。だが特定技能について東電は、法務省に問い合わせた結果、「新資格は受け入れ可能。日本人が働いている場所は分け隔てなく働いてもらうことができる」(東電広報担当)と判断した。

 背景には、建設業全体の人手不足がある。加えて、一定の被曝線量を超えれば作業が続けられないという原発特有の理由もあるとみられる。

[…]

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear ZEC Challenges via RTO Insider

By Rich Heidorn Jr.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to Illinois’ and New York’s zero-emission credit payments to nuclear plants.

The court denied the Electric Power Supply Association’s petitions for certiorari without comment. The decision left standing last September’s rulings by the 2nd and 7th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals that rejected claims that New York’s and Illinois’ ZECs intrude on FERC jurisdiction (18-868 Electric Power Supply Assn. v. Star, Anthony M., et al.; 18-879 Electric Power Supply Assn. v. Rhodes, John B., et al.).

EPSA had been joined by NRG Energy and Calpine in its challenges. The challengers also won support from PJM’s Independent Market Monitor and others, who said lower courts have misinterpreted precedent on federal jurisdiction. (See Courts Misread Hughes on Nuke Subsidies, Supreme Court Told.)

The court’s unsurprising decision — it hears only a small percentage of the cases on which it is petitioned — was a victory for Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear operator. The company is currently lobbying for nuclear subsidies in Pennsylvania. (See related story, Nuke Talks Continue in Pa. Assembly.)

FirstEnergy also is supporting the legislative effort in Pennsylvania and a similar bill introduced Friday in Ohio to support its Davis-Besse and Perry plants.

New Jersey and Connecticut have also approved nuclear subsidies.

[…]

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福島第一原発3号機 核燃料の取り出し作業を中断 トラブルか via NHK News Web

東京電力福島第一原子力発電所3号機で15日朝から始まった使用済み燃料プールの核燃料を取り出す作業は、午後1時前、2本目の核燃料を取り出したあと、なんらかのトラブルが起き、作業は一時中断しているということです。東京電力が現在、詳しい状況を調べています。

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