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House Panel Probes Trump Advisers’ Push for Saudi Nuclear Deal via ProPublica

he Trump administration has continued pursuing a proposed nuclear power deal with Saudi Arabia despite warnings from ethics lawyers and security experts, according to a congressional oversight committee.

The proposal gained traction in the early days of the administration because of then-national security adviser Michael Flynn and presidential confidant Tom Barrack, who had potential financial stakes in the plan, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said in initial findings released on Tuesday.

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The administration’s early efforts threatened to make an end-run around U.S. laws governing the transfer of nuclear power technology, the oversight committee said. The U.S. tightly controls the technology because it can be diverted to build atomic bombs.

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While Saudi Arabia has a legitimate goal of diversifying its economy away from oil, its leaders have also shown interest in keeping pace with Iran’s nuclear development. “Without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” the crown prince, who is known in Washington by his initials MbS, told “60 Minutes” last year.

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Grand Canyon tourists exposed for years to radiation in museum building via azcentral.com

 

 

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「被災者が声を上げにくい状況」  原発事故8年 さいたまでシンポ via 東京新聞

 3月に東京電力福島第一原発事故から8年となるのを前に、専門家や避難者らの声を聞き、原発事故や復興対策などを考えるシンポジウム「いま語らなければ。福島」が17日、さいたま市浦和区の埼玉会館であり、約60人が参加した。

 実行委員会委員長を務めた猪股正弁護士は「政府が五輪に向けて復興をアピールし、安心安全を強調している」と指摘。「被災者が声を上げにくい状況がつくられている」と懸念を示した。福島県郡山市の男性は「100回安心と言われると安全だと思ってしまう」と発言。「(一般人の年間被ばく線量限度とされる)1ミリシーベルトは、昔は安全だという基準ではなかったはずだが、いつからか安全の基準に変わった。原発事故の風化が怖い」と不安を口にした。

(森雅貴)

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原発「コスト高い」龍谷大教授が試算、廃止でも電気料金差なく via 京都新聞

原子力発電のコストについて考える講演会がこのほど、京都府宮津市浜町の市福祉・教育総合プラザであった。龍谷大の大島堅一教授が発電や安全対策などに掛かる経費を説明し「原発のコストは高く、費用は国民に転嫁されている」と強調した。

大島教授は原発の建設費や燃料費などを足した「発電コスト」と、事故対応費などを含めた「社会的費用」の合算が原発全体のコストになると解説。福島第1原発事故で東京電力が支払っている賠償金の一部は国民の税金や電気料金から賄っている仕組みや、原発再稼働と廃止にした場合の電気料金は差がないという試算を紹介し「原発ゼロにするか維持していくのか。エネルギー政策は転換点にある」と訴えた。

続きは原発「コスト高い」龍谷大教授が試算、廃止でも電気料金差なく

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Grand Canyon tourists exposed for years to radiation in museum building, safety manager says via USA Today

, Arizona Republic

For nearly two decades at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, tourists, employees, and children on tours passed by three paint buckets stored in the national park’s museum collection building, unaware that they were being exposed to radiation.

Although federal officials learned last year that the 5-gallon containers were brimming with uranium ore and then removed the radioactive specimens, the park’s safety director alleges nothing was done to warn park workers or the public that they might have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.

In a rogue email sent to all Park Service employees on Feb. 4, Elston “Swede” Stephenson — the safety, health and wellness manager — described the alleged cover-up as “a top management failure” and warned of possible health consequences.

“If you were in the Museum Collections Building (2C) between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were ‘exposed’ to uranium by OSHA’s definition,” Stephenson wrote. “The radiation readings, at first blush, exceeds (sic) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safe limits. … Identifying who was exposed, and your exposure level, gets tricky and is our next important task.” The building is located in Grand Canyon Village, Arizona.

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According to Stephenson, the uranium specimens had been in a basement at park headquarters for decades, and were moved to the museum building when it opened, around 2000.

One of the buckets was so full that its lid would not close.

Stephenson said the containers were stored next to a taxidermy exhibit, where children on tours sometimes stopped for presentations, sitting next to uranium for 30 minutes or more. By his calculation, those children could have received radiation dosages in excess of federal safety standards within three seconds, and adults could have suffered dangerous exposure in less than a half-minute.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission measures radiation contamination in millisieverts per hour or per year. According to Stephenson, close exposures to the uranium buckets could have exposed adults to 400 times the health limit — and children to 4,000 times what is considered safe.

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Stephenson said the uranium threat was discovered in March 2018 by the teenage son of a park employee who happened to be a Geiger counter  enthusiast, and brought a device to the museum collection room.

Workers immediately moved the buckets to another location in the building, he said, but nothing else was done.

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The technicians reached the Grand Canyon several days after his call, on June 18. Lacking protective clothing, they purchased dish-washing and gardening gloves, and then used a broken mop handle to lift the buckets into a truck, Stephenson said.

Those details are corroborated by photographs Stephenson included in a 45-page slideshow created to document the radiation exposure and alleged cover-up.

Stephenson said technicians concealed the radiation readings from him and dumped the ore into Orphan Mine, an old uranium dig that is considered a potential Superfund site below the Rim, about two miles from Grand Canyon Village.

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The report indicated radiation levels at 13.9 millirems per hour where the buckets were stored, and 800 per hour on contact with the ore. Five feet from the buckets, there was a zero reading.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a maximum safe dosage for the public, beyond natural radiation, is no more than 2 millirems per hour, or 100 per year.

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nternational Campaign “Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics” by Nuclear Free Olympic Games 2020

There is an international campaign against having part of the Olympic games only 50 km from the Fukushima nuclear plants and opposing all nuclear plants in Japan and throughout the world.
In 2020, Japan is inviting athletes from around the world to take part in the Tokyo Olympic Games. We are hoping for the games to be fair and peaceful. At the same time, we are worried about plans to host baseball and softball competitions in Fukushima City, just 50 km away from the ruins of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was here, in 2011, that multiple nuclear meltdowns took place, spreading radioactivity across Japan and the Pacific Ocean – a catastrophe comparable only to the nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl. 

The ecological and social consequences of this catastrophe can be seen everywhere in the country: whole families uprooted from their ancestral homes, deserted evacuation zones, hundreds of thousands of bags of irradiated soil dumped all over the country, contaminated forests, rivers and lakes. Normality has not returned to Japan. 

The reactors continue to be a radiation hazard as further catastrophes could occur at any time. Every day adds more radioactive contamination to the ocean, air and soil. Enormous amounts of radioactive waste are stored on the premises of the power plant in the open air. Should there be another earthquake, these would pose a grave danger to the population and the environment. The nuclear catastrophe continues today. 

On the occasion of the Olympic Games 2020, we are planning an international campaign. Our concern is that athletes and visitors to the games could be harmed by the radioactive contamination in the region, especially those people more vulnerable to radiation, children and pregnant women. 

According to official Japanese government estimates, the Olympic Games will cost more than the equivalent of 12 billion Euros. At the same time, the Japanese government is threatening to cut support to all evacuees who are unwilling to return to the region. 

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Tokyo governor won’t speculate on Olympic bribery scandal via The Tribune

TOKYO — The head of Tokyo’s city government has declined to weigh in on the future of Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for his part in an alleged bribery scandal.

Asked Monday if Takeda should resign, Tokyo Governor Yurkio Koike told reporters: “This is an issue for the JOC. Therefore, as the government of Tokyo, we are looking at what efforts need to be made in order to ensure the success of the games.”

Members of the JOC executive board are up for re-election this summer. There is speculation Takeda will not run, or could be replaced. French investigators believe he may have helped Tokyo win the 2020 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee.

Takeda has been JOC president since 2001. He is also a powerful IOC member and the head of its marketing commission. He has not stepped aside from either position while the IOC’s ethics committee investigates.

A similar vote-buying scandal tarnished the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and former IOC member Carlos Nuzman, who was also head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

French authorities suspect that about $2 million paid by the Tokyo bid committee — headed by Takeda — to a Singapore consulting company, Black Tidings, found its way to some IOC members in 2013 when Tokyo won the vote over bids from Istanbul and Madrid.

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Where to Find Fukushima Radiation Health Survey via Fukushima Voice Version 2E

Information: Fukushima Medical University’s Radiation Medical Science Center Website 

Fukushima Medical University’s Radiation Medical Science Center opened a new website on January 10, 2019. The original English website, “Office of International Cooperation,” is still active, although it seems to be updated at a lot slower pace nowadays. (It took 2 months for them to post English translation of the reports from the September 2018 Oversight Committee meeting, which used to come out in 3-4 weeks.)

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孫も隣人も戻らない 原発事故から8年、飯舘村はいま via 朝日新聞

 東京電力福島第一原発事故から間もなく8年。福島県飯舘(いいたて)村は避難指示区域が解除されて約2年が経つが、戻った村民は1割余り。主が帰らぬ空き家は次々と解体され、空き地には背丈を超えるカヤが生い茂る。故郷へ向かうはずの村人の足取りはなぜ重いのか。村南部の小宮地区を7年前から定期的に見回りをする元区長の庄司武実さん(65)の車に同乗して「村のいま」を見た。

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津波予見義務が最大の争点 原発避難者訴訟、あす地裁判決 via Yahoo! News

 東京電力福島第1原発事故の影響で福島県から神奈川県へ避難した住民らが、国と東電に総額約53億9千万円の損害賠償を求めた訴訟の判決が20日、横浜地裁(中平健裁判長)で言い渡される。津波の襲来を予見し、適切な対策を講じておく義務が国と東電にあったのかが最大の争点。[…]

原告側は、政府の地震調査研究推進本部が2002年にまとめた長期評価に基づき、東電は原発の敷地の高さを越える津波の到来を予見し、速やかに必要な対策を講じるべきだったと主張。国の責任についても、「規制権限を有していながら、東電に具体的な対策工事を何一つ行わせることができなかった」として追及している。

また国が示した基準に基づき東電がこれまで支払ってきた賠償は不十分とも指摘。低線量被ばくの危険性にさらされるなど避難生活を余儀なくされている原告らに適切な賠償を行うことを求めている。

東電側は「事故原因になった津波と同程度の津波を予測する知見は当時存在せず、予見は不可能だった」と反論。賠償についてもすでに十分な額を支払っているとした。国は東電に対する規制権限を有していなかったとして事故責任を否定し、津波の予見もできなかったと主張している。

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