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[VIDEO] Japan: Drone captures TONNES of nuclear waste being stored at Fukushima via RT

Millions of tonnes of radioactive soil and debris, filmed by drone footage, can be seen packed in black bags in a temporary storage site at Tomioka, Fukushima prefecture, Thursday.

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UK nuclear strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project via The Independent

A “very serious” fault has been discovered in a French nuclear power station which is at the heart of David Cameron’s strategy to “keep the lights on” in Britain in the next decade.

The future of two nuclear reactors planned for Hinkley Point in Somerset has been thrown into doubt by the discovery of a potentially catastrophic mistake in the construction of an identical EPR power plant in Normandy.

“It is a serious fault, even a very serious fault, because it involves a crucial part of the nuclear reactor,” said Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of France’s nuclear safety inspectorate.

A second investigation has been ordered into the quality of the steel used to make a 50ft-high safety casing, or “pressure vessel”, which encloses the groundbreaking new reactor at Flamanville, near Cherbourg. If the steel proves to be defective, the completion of the prototype EPR plant – already behind schedule and nearly three times over budget – could be delayed for several years.

Mr Chevet also revealed that the same manufacturing techniques had been used in the steel for the identical safety casings destined for Hinkley Point, which “have already been manufactured”.


Sources in the French nuclear industry told the newspaper Le Parisien yesterday that dismantling the faulty pressure vessel and ordering and manufacturing a new one could take several years. “If the weakness of the steel is proved, I don’t hold out much hope for the survival of the EPR project,” a former senior nuclear safety official told Le Parisien.

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被爆地の声、NPT再検討会議へ 「チーム長崎」合同壮行会 via 西日本新聞

米ニューヨークで27日から始まる核拡散防止条約(NPT)再検討会議に参加する長崎原爆の被爆者や長崎大の学生らによる合同壮行会が18日、長崎 市で開かれた。戦後70年の今年は被爆地、長崎から過去最多の10団体98人が「チーム長崎」として訪米し、世界に「核兵器廃絶」を訴える。

5年に1度の同会議に参加する被爆者は、長崎原爆被災者協議会や被爆者による合唱団「ひまわり」のメンバーなど28人。国連本部や平和集会で各国の政府関 係者らに直接、被爆の悲惨さを伝える。田中安次郎さん(72)は壮行会で「生きたくても生きられなかった人のために、核兵器廃絶と恒久平和を訴えていきた い」とあいさつした。



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‘Voluntary’ evacuees of Fukushima nuclear disaster face unclear future via The Mainichi

The approaching deadline for an announcement on whether the provision of emergency temporary housing will be extended has turned the spotlight on those whose evacuations from Fukushima Prefecture are considered “voluntary.”

Immediately after the outbreak of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, the Disaster Relief Act was applied to the entirety of Fukushima Prefecture, making emergency temporary housing facilities available to all Fukushima prefectural residents. Soon afterward, however, evacuation designations for individual municipalities were put into place, and residents were classified into those whose homes were within designated “no-go zones,” referred to as “mandatory evacuees,” and those whose homes were not in designated “no-go zones,” referred to as “voluntary evacuees.” In other words, this differentiation between so-called mandatory and voluntary evacuees was made after the residents had already fled their homes.
The authorities’ stance toward voluntary evacuation has been made clear by how it has tried to pass off the burden of rental fees for appropriated housing — currently covered entirely by the national government — to TEPCO.

Internal government documents obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun through a freedom of information request show that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Reconstruction Agency summoned officials from Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi, the three prefectures hit hardest by the 2011 disasters, as well as officials from Yamagata, Niigata, Tochigi and Saitama Prefectures, which have hosted large populations of voluntary evacuees, to the Fukushima Regional Bureau of Reconstruction in the Fukushima capital on May 24, 2013.

According to inside sources, a Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare official at the meeting proposed that each prefecture bill TEPCO directly for rental fees incurred by nuclear disaster evacuees, pointing to the example of the 1999 JCO nuclear incident in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, in which Ibaraki prefectural authorities received disaster relief funds from the plant operator. The proposal was abandoned, however, after prefectural officials objected, demanding why the prefectural governments and not the central government — which had heretofore shouldered all the costs — should have to charge the utility.

TEPCO has expressed reluctance to cover the rental fees of voluntary evacuees, and the government has deliberated the possibility of initially billing the power company for the rental fees incurred by mandatory evacuees, but a final decision has yet to be made. If the government ultimately decides not to charge TEPCO for the rental fees of voluntary evacuees, it would imply that TEPCO bears no responsibility for the evacuation of those people. Whoever eventually charges TEPCO for evacuation costs — a role which prefectural and central government officials tried to foist onto each other in May 2013 — will have to decide how voluntary evacuees are treated and explain the rationale behind the decision.

As one central government official said, “It all comes down to the fact that no one wants to be held accountable.”

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Bogus labels, radiation fears prompt Taiwan to strengthen rules on Japanese food imports via The Asahi Shimbun

HONG KONG–Taiwan said April 16 it will further tighten regulations on food imports from Japan after forged place-of-origin labels allowed entry of banned products from Fukushima and four other prefectures.

Tokyo has expressed opposition to Taiwan’s new rules, fearing other countries and regions will follow suit.

The Japanese government has already sought an easing of Taiwan’s current ban on food produced or manufactured in Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures over concerns of radiation contamination resulting from the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

However, the administration of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou had been strongly criticized over a recent series of food safety issues. It decided to take action after it was revealed in March that some food products produced in those five Japanese prefectures had been imported with phony labels saying they were from elsewhere.

Announced by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, the stricter regulations will require every food item imported from Japan to carry an official document that proves place of origin by prefecture. Foods from certain regions and specified products will also require documents that show the results of radiation checks.

When the new regulations take effect after 30 days, a huge amount of paperwork on the Japanese side will become necessary.

Taiwan will require documents on the results of radiation checks in three categories: marine products from Tokyo and Miyagi, Iwate and Ehime prefectures; tea from Tokyo and the prefectures of Shizuoka, Aichi and Osaka; and dairy products, baby food, sugar confectioneries and other select products produced in Tokyo and the prefectures of Miyagi and Saitama.

Some of the prefectures listed in the three categories are far from Fukushima Prefecture. However, a Taiwan FDA official said, “We chose the products based on the results of past (radiation) checks.”


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Bird populations suffer dramatic decline in Fukushima post 2011 nuclear disaster via New Kerala

Many papers from University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau and colleagues showed that the avian situation there was just getting worse.

Many populations were found to have diminished in number as a result of the accident, with several species suffering dramatic declines.

One hard-hit species was the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, which suffered large population losses in a dose-dependent manner according to individually measured levels of radiation exposure.

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530 Minamisoma residents sue government over hot spot delisting via The Japan Times

Some 530 residents of a city near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant filed a lawsuit Friday demanding that the central government revoke a decision to remove their districts from a list of radiation hot spots, ending their entitlement to handouts.

The lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court also sought ¥100,000 in damages for each plaintiff. All are residents of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said it was the first suit involving the government’s decision to delist hot spots.

To be designated a hot spot, an area must exhibit an estimated radiation exposure of more than 20 millisieverts per year. While residents are not required to evacuate such areas, they are entitled to receive support in the form of subsidized medical treatment and “consolation” money.

On Dec. 28, 2014, the government removed 142 areas in Minamisoma from the list, noting that annual radiation exposure had fallen below the 20-millisievert threshold.
The plaintiffs argued that by international standards, the upper limit for radiation exposure is 1 millisievert per year, meaning the government’s delisting of the hot spots conflicts with its duty to protect the safety of citizens.

The government said in a statement that its decision to delist the areas is based on scientific findings and that it has been working hard to “gain understanding from local residents.”

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被ばく限度250ミリに=原発緊急事態、省令改正へ-厚労省 via 時事ドットコム







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高浜原発差し止め 裁判長を激怒させた関西電力の“禁じ手” via 日刊ゲンダイ




河合弁護士や海渡雄一弁護士はまず、「日本と原発」というドキュメンタリー映画を作成。裁判官とはいえ、原発についてはシロウト。そこで、原発の問題点 を裁判官に分かりやすく説明するために有識者にインタビューし、まとめたのだ。いま、全国で原発の差し止め訴訟が起きているが、この映画が裁判所に提出さ れていて、「伊方原発」運転差し止め訴訟の松山地裁では“異例”の法廷上映会も開かれた。

次に弁護団が着目したのは、昨年5月に大飯原発3、4号機の差し止め訴訟で、運転停止を命じた樋口英明裁判長 (62)だ。樋口裁判長なら原発の問題点を熟知していると判断し、樋口裁判長のいる福井地裁に提訴したのである。焦った関電は激しく抵抗。“禁じ手”を 放ったが、その行為が樋口裁判長の怒りを買ったという。

「樋口裁判長が4月に名古屋家裁に異動することを知った関電は『裁判官忌避』という手段で判決の引き延ばしを図った。裁判長が異動すれば判決も変わると読 んだわけです。しかし、これはめったに使われない禁じ手です。なぜなら、裁判長に『失格』の烙印を押す行為だからです。それを関電側は平気で仕掛けてき た。怒った樋口裁判長は『異動するが、この訴訟だけは俺がやる』と職務代行の手続きを取り、仮処分の決定を出したのです」(司法ジャーナリスト)

全文は高浜原発差し止め 裁判長を激怒させた関西電力の“禁じ手” 

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China’s nuclear radiation level normal: official via Shanghai Daily

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) — Following the announcement that construction approval had been given to two new reactors, a nuclear safety official said Friday radiation from existing nuclear facilities is at a “normal level”.

“All China’s nuclear reactors under construction are well managed,” Tang Bo, an official with the National Nuclear Safety Administration, said in an interview earlier this week.

He added that a sound radiation monitoring and emergency system is in place.

China has 23 nuclear power generating units in operation and 27 under construction, about one third of the world’s unfinished nuclear units.

The 23 commissioned units are achieving very good safety performance, and no incidents ranked at INES II (International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale II) or above have been reported, Tang said.

The central government on Wednesday approved the construction of two nuclear power units in southeast China’s coastal province of Fujian, using the Hualong One technology, a domestically-developed third generation reactor design.

Continue reading at China’s nuclear radiation level normal: official 

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